Two childhood friends from the same Quebec Innu community begin to realize that they face very different futures, in Myriam Verreault’s bittersweet adaptation of Naomi Fontaine's acclaimed novel about the ties that bind people, places, and possibilities.
Adapted from Naomi Fontaine's critically acclaimed novel of the same name, Kuessipan follows two girls growing up as best friends in a Quebec Innu community. While Mikuan (Sharon Fontaine-Ishpatao) has a loving family and is destined for a promising life outside of her hometown, Shaniss (Yamie Grégoire) is picking up the pieces of her shattered childhood. As children, they promised each other they'd stick together no matter what. But as they grow older, issues of race and class boil to the surface and Shaniss begins to feel abandoned when Mikuan falls for a white boy and starts to dream of a life beyond the one they know.
With compelling depth and sensitivity, filmmaker Myriam Verreault's first narrative feature is an integral Indigenous story. But it is also a universal narrative about family hardships, community, belonging, and the strength of female friendship.
Drawing on her previous success as a documentary filmmaker (West of Pluto, 2008), and utilizing various non-actors in her cast, Verreault crafts a film that is a natural and seamless transition from her earlier work. She brings Fontaine's words to life with a delicate level of understanding and compassion. As an exploration of the inevitability of change, Kuessipan is a heartfelt story that acknowledges the heartaches — and celebrates the triumphs — of lifelong friendships.