Adam Beach is a man both haunted and hunted for his past actions in the Canadian thriller Exile, screening as part of the 2022 Whistler Film Festival, available online across Canada starting December 5.
Ted (Beach) has just been released from prison, where he served five years for killing a family in a drunk driving incident. Though remorseful for his actions, the man whose family he killed threatens Ted’s family, vowing to kill them in retaliation for Ted’s actions. Tormented by grief and fearing for his family’s safety, he exiles himself to a remote cabin in the woods. His wife Sara (Camille Sullivan) sets out to track him down, only to find a man broken beyond her imagination and possibly beyond reach.
Filmed and set in the remote British Columbia wilderness and directed by Jason James from a script by Mike Beaton, Exile is a compelling thriller that hinges on a well-rounded performance by Beach. Finally given the chance to shine in a lead role worthy of him, Beach makes Ted a man of complex layers and deep secrets. The anguish he feels is palpable, as is the idea that he might harbour even darker secrets. Ted’s reality may not be as it seems, and Beach’s performance, as well as the script, give the viewer room to question if what they see is truly what is happening.
The Powell River landscape is a character in the story here too. Beautiful and isolating, Exile’s cinematography by Stirling Bancroft contributes to the moody atmosphere, which only serves to heighten the thriller elements of the story. Exile explores themes of redemption, forgiveness, and justice by filtering them through one man’s paranoia, creating a worthwhile Canadian thriller in the process.
With its World Premiere on December 1, Exile is eligible for Whistler’s Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Film and will be available online across Canada when the festival moves online, December 5 through January 2.