Directed by Keith Behrman. Canada.  2002.

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Flower and Garnet, the first feature-length film by B.C. director Keith Behrman, is the powerful story of a broken family that is forced to confront problems that have gone on for too many years. The film shows the effect of a father's unexpressed grief on his eight-year old son, Garnet (Colin Roberts), whose mother died giving him birth. Set in the rural Cache Creek area in British Columbia, Canada, it is a subtle and deeply moving portrait of a family that lives in an emotional no-man's land. The father Ed (Callum Keith Rennie) is uncommunicative with both his family and his ladyfriend Barb (Kristen Thomson). Constantly downing cans of beer, he only relates to the boy with silence, self-hatred, and sudden explosions of violence. He tries to school him in typical macho activities, taking him fishing, driving, and shooting on an improvised pistol range, but is unable to provide any real love or understanding. 

The years have turned Garnet into a sullen withdrawn child. Vancouver actor Colin Roberts, who received a Genie nomination for Best Actor for his first acting performance, is so natural as Garnet that you can literally hear his thoughts and feel his feelings above the long, awkward silences. Ed tries to right things by giving Garnet a BB gun for his birthday but he uses it to take out his aggression on animals. When his beautiful 16-year-old sister Flower (Jane McGregor) has an affair with local teen Carl (Craig Olejnik) and becomes pregnant, Ed compounds the problem by forcing her out of the house. The loss of his sister plus an anticipated rival for his sister's affections pushes Garnet close to the edge. The final breakthrough is so unsuspected that it comes with a sudden jolt.

Howard Schumann
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