120 minutes – Drama
Canadian release date: October 9, 2015
First screening: September 14, 2015 (TIFF)
Canadian distributor: Elevation Pictures
Poster & trailer courtesy of Elevation Pictures.
Canadian actor, writer, and director Paul Gross follows up on his WWI drama, 2008’s Passchendaele, with three different stories of modern warfare all in one movie – Hyena Road. The title takes its name from route built by Canadian and American troops as a highway to Kandahar, Afghanistan. A sniper (Rossif Sutherland) who has never allowed himself to think of his targets as human, becomes implicated in the life of one. An intelligence officer (Paul Gross) who has never contemplated killing, becomes the engine of a plot to kill. A legendary Mujahideen warrior (Neamat Arghandabi) who had put war behind him, is now the center of the battle zone. Three different men, three different worlds, three different conflicts – all stand at the intersection of modern warfare – a murky world of fluid morality where all is not as it seems. A tour-de-force that is equal measures thrilling, moving, and at times heartbreaking, Hyena Road is, without a doubt, unlike any other film ever made in Canada and is a testament to the work that our nation’s soldiers do on a daily basis. Gross spent two weeks at an operating base thirty kilometers away from Kandahar City when Canada’s combat mission was nearing its end. His script for this feature is principally based on interviews he had with soldiers when he was there as well as at home. Hyena Road will have its World Premiere when it screens as a Gala Presentation at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.