Written and directed by Nyla Innuksuk, and set in the small arctic coastal town of Pangnirtung, Nunavut, Slash/Back which premiered at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival, is a multi-genre coming of age action feature showing how one’s connection to culture and homeland can give a person the strength to fight back against invaders.
Slash/Back is not only Innuksuk’s first feature film, it’s also the very first film to be filmed in Pangnirtung or Pang as the locals call it. In this film, this small hamlet becomes the center of a would-be alien invasion, which gets thwarted when a group of teenage girls take matters into their own hands to protect their families and home.
With a mix of traditional and contemporary music composed and performed by notable Inuit musicians such as Hallucination, Tanya Tagaq, Pakak Innuksuk. The score of the film perfectly matches cinematography Guy Godfrey who perfectly shows off the stunning open vistas of the open tundra, rugged coastlines, and slick editing by Simone Smith.
Being the first film by Nyla Innuksuk, Slash/Back is a bit rough around the edges, but rather than take away from the film, it adds an authenticity that feels complimentary to the setting, and captures the sense of adventure many of us had as kids pretending to have wild adventures in our backyards, or neighborhood streets.
In this episode of Carolyn Talks…, I speak with Nyla and actresses Tasiana Shirley and Nalajoss Ellsworth who play Maika and Uki respectively, about how their Inuit heritage, culture and identities helped inform them as creatives, and how the film itself inspired and encouraged them to embrace their roots.
Click here to read the full review by ButWhyTho? EIC, Kate Sanchez.
Carolyn is a Freelance Film Critic, Journalist, and Podcaster – and avid live tweeter. Member of the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), her published work can be found on But Why Tho, The Beat, Observer, and many other sites. As a critic, she believes her personal experiences and outlook on life, give readers and listeners a different perspective they can appreciate.