TIFF 2012: ‘Dear Scavengers’ is short, sweet, and enjoyable

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Dear Scavengers

Directed by Aaron Phelan

Written by Aaron Phelan

Canada, 2012

We all know someone like Hector (Hrant Alianak); especially if you’re young enough. Simply put, he’s a curmudgeon. He’s a bad tempered, obdurate sort of chap who’s unable (or unwilling) to change. In fact, he owns a used appliances shop. That should illustrate just how much of a reactionary grouch he is.

A solitary man by choice, Hector is easily irritated when people wander into his store, especially if they’re a bunch of animated pre-teens on a summer camp scavenger hunt. Hector tries to dissuade them with signs (he’s the kind of person that’ll write to his parliamentary representative), but he isn’t privy to the fact that 21st century kids don’t read anything if it isn’t texted, tweeted or typed.

As he confronts these rapscalllions, Hector also must confront his timeworn predilections. Judging by his accent, we assume he’s an immigrant; a person dealing with both cultural and generational changes. The humour comes from Hector’s conflicted feelings towards progress and his own crabby identity, and the heart comes from his own unique way of consolidating the two.

Dear Scavengers isn’t a longwinded and monotonous essay on cultural dialectics. Instead, it’s more of a light-hearted limerick, a rosy piece of confectionary that’s short, sweet, and enjoyable – even if it only lasts for 9 minutes.

– Justin Li

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6-16

For more information and tickets, please visit the official website

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