Nessa and Blaise get petrol for their piece-of-junk lawn mower by stealing it from parked cars. Their makeshift lawn mowing business is hardly booming, but it’s the couple’s only source of income. They are in withdrawal, taking part in a methadone programme, and homeless. The state-sponsored therapeutic care they receive does help, but it also keeps them on a tight leash. The film neither romanticises nor exoticises the pair’s arduous daily routines; its many close-ups of everything from socks being washed to medical procedures cast their path of suffering in a more sober light. But most of all Werewolf is a relationship drama about two individuals with very different personalities. Are they stronger together, or will Nessa eventually have to let go of the hand that’s pulling her down? “It can be very threatening when someone changes,” her social worker says, trying to encourage her not to make the same bad decision again. The film tells the story of this conflict like a sad love song, with brown methadone bottles, Nessa’s hairnet, and the ever more perfect swoop of soft-serve ice cream in the cone as the refrain.
78’ · Colour
Bhreagh MacNeil (Nessa)Andrew Gillis (Blaise)Mark Woodland (Mark)Donald Campbell (Young Boy)Barry Wall (Mechanic)Katie Appleton (Ice Cream Shop Employee #1)Jessie MacLean (Ice Cream Shop Employee #2)
Born in Nova Scotia, Canada in 1984, she studied English and film studies and then made short films at the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative in Halifax and the National Screen Institute in Winnipeg. Her debut feature film Werewolf screened in the Berlinale Forum and won the most generously endowed film prize in Canada, the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award presented by the Toronto Film Critics Association. She is an alumna of Berlinale Talents.Filmography
2010 Rhonda’s Party; short film 2012 When You Sleep; short film 2013 Stray; short film 2015 4 Quarters; short film 2016 Werewolf 2017 Martha Brook Falls; short film 2022 Queens of the Qing Dynasty
Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022