Director: Anne Wheeler
Screenwriters: Sharon Riis, Anne Wheeler

Institute History

  • 1987 Sundance Film Festival


Loyalties proves that the renaissance in Canadian cinema extends across the country. Using the natural beauty of Alberta as its setting, Anne Wheeler, in her first fully dramatic feature, has creates a film of immense power and enviable assurance, and which is dramatically satisfying.

Into the remote, dusty community of Lac la Biche in northern Alberta arrive the Suttons, and English family of fine breeding, carrying a secret which has forced them to relocate in such an inaccessible spot. The husband is a doctor whose charming manner and easy social graces soon ingratiate him with the local community, while Lily, his wife, finds the transition much more difficult to make. Isolated and feeling every inch the foreigner, Lily finally begins to open up in the presence of the Indian woman whom they hire as a housekeeper. Roseanne has deep attachments to her native culture and the two women gradually develop a deep and abiding friendship. When this bond threatens to unearth the family’s secret, Loyalties takes a shocking turn.

— Piers Handling

Screening Details

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