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When death haunts a high school in a small town in the late 1990s, everyone is forever transformed. In this gentle, prismatic film, Samara returns to the town she fled as a teen to re-immerse herself in the memories still lurking there, in its spaces and within the dusty boxes of diaries, photos and VHS tapes. 1999 is not a ghost story, but the ghosts are palpable at every turn. The snow-covered streets, the school’s hallways and lockers are preserved as in a dream. The absences left by the relentless teenage suicides still shimmer with questions, trauma and regret. Samara encounters people who are as breathtaking as they are heartbroken, and, finally, 16 years later, the community strengthens itself by sharing the long-silenced memories. Ultimately the film weaves together multiple voices in a collective essay on how grief is internalized—and how, as children, we so painfully learn to articulate our desire to stay alive.

This film deals with mature subject matter. Viewer discretion is advised.

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  • writer
    Samara Grace Chadwick
  • director
    Samara Grace Chadwick
  • editor
    Terra Jean Long
  • cinematography
    Pablo Alvarez-Mesa
    Samara Grace Chadwick
  • sound recordist
    Simon Doucet
  • original composition
    Cyril Hahn
  • sound design
    Marie-Pierre Grenier
  • narrator
    Samara Grace Chadwick
  • producer
    Sarah Spring
    Selin Murat
    Aline Schmid
    Kat Baulu
    Jac Gautreau
  • executive producer
    Annette Clarke
    Dominique Desjardins
  • design
    Etienne Beaupré
    Julien Charbonneau