It’s the year 2043. Political factions had come to a head after a war broke apart North America. In that process, Canada joined the United States, caving to the argument that the alliance was necessary for survival of the Government (previously, known as the U.S. government), but it resulted in a civil war of rebellion which lead to a wall being built between the two countries. Everyone loyal to the far-right faction is moved to one side of the wall, and everyone else to the other side. Canada is now the land of the disenfranchised and impoverished. But then, as now, Canada is a land of natural resources, and the Government realizes it wants those assets.
It is into this world that we first meet Niska and her daughter, Waseese. They are on the run. At the age of 5, children become property of the state in this post-Civil War world, and Waseese is 11-years-old. In their efforts to hide from the authorities, they’re forced into the city that is cut in half by the wall, Weyakwin City in the north, Emerson State to the south, where Niska is forced to give her up. Left on her own, Niska crosses paths with the Night Raiders, an underground group of Cree vigilantes. Their goal is to break into the Academies where the children are being kept and steal the kids back one by one. Through the Night Raiders, Niska realizes she may have made a horrible mistake, and she must align herself with them if she has any hope of getting Waseese back.
The directorial feature debut of Denis Goulet, who is Cree-Métis, NIGHT RAIDERS is a female-driven sci-fi drama about resilience, courage and love. The film is a Canada/New Zealand co-production and executive produced by Oscar® winner and HIFF favorite Taika Waititi.
This film is presented as part of the Film For Thought program in partnership with the Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities. As a part of this program, HIFF will be presenting a LIVE virtual discussion during the Festival with director Danis Goulet, and a companion essay written by a local scholar will be available to read online. Stay tuned to the HIFF TALKS page for details.