Blackbird tells the story of a bullied, teenage, Goth outcast who is wrongly accused of planning a school shooting in a small, Canadian town. I enjoyed this film and the concept overall, but there are pieces that felt a little tired and unnecessary. For one, the film presents polarized cliques and stereotyped teenagers that are often seen in classic teen movies, but are, to me, completely inaccurate. Rarely will you find the letterman jacket jock group facing off against the extreme Goth kid in high school, nor will you see teens throwing food from across the room at their enemies. At points it feels like the story line clunks along in a very monotonous way, but the end result is slightly more satisfying.
The film presents hyper-sensitivity within our society and our tendency to blame the victim and ostracize the “other”. The main character is forced to conform, change his personality, and denounce his interests. He is pushed into a corner, and is forced to admit to a crime that he didn’t commit.
On the other hand, the film has qualities common of your average chick flick so don’t worry if you’re not too into the gloom of a straight drama.
If you’re interested in seeing this film: go for it, but approach it with an open mind, and forgive its clichés. It’s an interesting film that can spark good conversations and get you to think about what makes us nervous, our judicial system, and who we blame.
Blackbird is playing at the Seattle International Film Festival
Friday, May 31 at 8:30 PM and June 2 at 11:00 AM
at SIFF Cinema Uptown
More info at siff.net