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Hello Destroyer: A vulnerable story that’s not your typical hockey film

Canadian director Kevan Funk’s first feature Hello Destroyer is a moody look at the side of sport nobody likes to talk about.

3 out of 4 stars

Hello Destroyer
Written by
Kevan Funk
Directed by
Kevan Funk
Jared Abrahamson and Sara Canning

Have you seen Youngblood or Slap Shot? This isn't like those, not by a long shot. Canadian director Kevan Funk's first feature Hello Destroyer is a moody look at the side of sport nobody likes to talk about.

A rookie hockey player for the Prince George Warriors is taught in an almost boot-camp manner how to be a good teammate and a relentless warrior, but when he severely injures an opposing player with his overaggressive play, he's ruthlessly abandoned by his team. He goes home and finds work in a slaughterhouse, a metaphor for the meat-on-the-hoof harshness of how athletes can be treated.

The low-budget and lowly lit film – at times too murky for its own good – has the feel of a documentary, with sparse, seemingly semi-scripted dialogue creating an almost unsettling intimacy. Jared Abrahamson plays Tyson Burr, the inarticulate and introverted mucker who struggles to express his frustrations. When he's discarded by his team and everyone else, he broods and pulls his hoodie low – not as a tough guy, but a shy, lonely and vulnerable one.

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This isn't a traditional hockey film. In a sense, it's not a hockey film at all. Hello Destroyer shoots for more: A story of alienation, and of youth rudely interrupted and lost in the machine.

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More


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