Night Raiders, the Indigenous sci-fi thriller marks the feature film directorial debut from award-winning Saskatchewan-born Cree/Métis writer/director, Danis Goulet. The film is thought-provoking and insightful, as well as beautifully shot with unforgettable emotional performances. Although Night Raiders is a work of fiction, Goulet has shared how she incorporated the realities of Indigenous life into the film.
Let me set the stage for Night Raiders. The year is 2043. A military occupation controls disenfranchised cities in post-war North America. Children are property of the State. A desperate Cree woman joins an underground band of vigilantes to infiltrate a State children’s academy and get her daughter back. This female-driven dystopian drama about resilience, courage, and love will sit with viewers for years to come. I had the pleasure of speaking with writer/director Danis Goulet for an interview with CinemaBlend, and she shared the following about incorporating the realities of Indigenous life:
It’s impossible to watch Night Raiders without feeling an immediate emotional attachment to Niska (Elle-Maija Tailfeathers) and Waseese (Brooklyn Letexier-Hart). The mother and daughter have been in hiding for years so they can stay together, since being a minor makes Waseese government property. They are separated when Waseese needs medical attention and Niska has no choice but to let her daughter be taken to this prison-like school. Their journey to reuniting and the Indigenous people Niska meets along the way who provide more than assistance are breathtaking. Danis Goulet elaborated on the story with the following:
In addition to the dystopian world Danis Goulet has created, Night Raiders is at its core about the power of community. There is an unbreakable bond between the two leading ladies that are mother and daughter. But then there is the Indigenous community Niska comes across that she is not immediately aware she belongs to. As she spends time in this community, she understands that she does belong and that there is a greater purpose to be served. That’s all I’ll say about this storyline because I really want you to see this movie!
While Niska is getting acclimated with the Indigenous community, her daughter Waseese is less than thriving at school. The juxtaposition of both characters going from only having each other to having a group of people their own age to interact with is interesting because they are stark opposite experiences. Danis Goulet also discussed why she did this and what the film is trying to convey. In her words:
Samuel Goldwyn Films will release the sci-fi thriller Night Raiders in Theaters, on Digital and On Demand on November 12, 2021. Check out the Night Raiders trailer now. Stay up to date and on top of your movie night planning with our 2021 movie release schedule and our 2021 DVD release calendar for movies and TV.
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Obsessed with Hamilton and most things Disney. Gets too attached to TV show characters. Loves a good thriller, but will only tolerate so much blood.