Friday March 6th @ 11am. Tickets €5. Teachers free. Box Office 047 39777.

A young Quebecois girl slowly learns to color outside the lines in writer-director Genevieve Dulude-de Celles’ Berlinale award-winning narrative feature debut, a sensitive and tasteful coming-of-age story that would perhaps have been richer, and certainly more surprising, had it embraced that lesson too. “A Colony,” however, is a neatly rendered package that cycles through its familiar beats with earnest, thoughtful grace, and if Dulude-de Celles’ focus on her protagonist’s hesitance and insecurity can make for a slightly frustrating watch at times, the performances from her young cast still infuse the film with an appealing freshness.

Twelve-year-old Mylia (Émilie Bierre) lives near a First Nations reserve in Pierreville, a small town in the Quebec countryside, dismissively referred to as “the sticks” by one unwilling resident, but rendered relatively idyllic by Léna Mill-Reuillard and Etienne Roussy’s sun-blown, tousled cinematography. Her home life is defined by her parents’ marriage quietly fracturing in the background, and by her embarrassingly free-spirited little sister Camille (a delightful Irlande Côté) trying to resuscitate dead hens and dancing around the house to Joy Division. The withdrawn and insecure Mylia, starting at a high school where she doesn’t know anyone, is beset by social terrors that see her lock herself in a bathroom on the morning of her first day. It’s hinted she had some bullying problems at her last school, which perhaps exacerbate her hypersensitivity to her outsider status here.

1 hour 42 minutes

Director:
Genevieve Dulude-de Celles