Mass for Shut-Ins
True North | Future//Present
Twentysomething Kay Jay sleeps on his grandfather Loppers’ couch. The computer’s on the fritz and there’s not much of anything to do; there’s a lot of sitting around, eating 5-cent candies and drinking pop. Bored, Kay Jay plays with fire, aimlessly wanders through the night, encounters strangers and gets hassled by September, his aggro delinquent brother. Chained to a life of co-dependency, he passively navigates his isolated existence—but you can see the desire to escape in his eyes.
Mass for Shut-Ins depicts a comatose environment in which the aging residents are dwindling away and the futures of the young are dimly lit at best. Director Winston DeGiobbi bends the mundane slightly towards the surreal, distilling the directionless state of his characters into poetry and poignantly articulating the essence of their milieu. Set in New Waterford, Cape Breton, where the poverty rate is among the worst in the country, Mass for Shut-Ins is a stark yet compassionate portrait of the underclass.
— Adam Cook
Preceded By: There Lived the ColliersDirector: Nelson MacDonald / NS, 2017, 7 min.
Thousands of wooden duplexes that once housed Nova Scotian miners now sit dilapidated and abandoned, testaments to the resilience of the working-class people who inhabited them.