Director: Clement Virgo
Screenwriters: Clement Virgo

Institute History

  • 1996 Sundance Film Festival


“There are ten million Nubian tales in the projects, on this sacred Ojibway ground,” announces pirate radio prophet Rude. Her butterscotch voice caresses and provokes the collective soul of Toronto’s Regent Park, the housing project where Clement Virgo grew up. Riding a poetic edge where passions explode, the familiar implodes, and magic takes control, Virgo weaves three of the project’s ten million tales into a defiant parable of hope, resurrection, and transformation.

From her illicit broadcast booth, Rude conjures an ominous Easter weekend setting for three tales of copulation, crucifixion, and cruelty. As one story dissolves to the next, Rude’s words resonate: “Dysfunctional illusion, sweet and sour delusion, primal desire, spiritual evolution—I wonder if I shall rise up from my sublime demise.” Virgo is a consummate cinematic storyteller who delights in lush visuals, rapid-fire pacing, subversive language, stylish abstractions, and loaded symbols; he moves with brash clarity and assured control from the sacred to the profane. Rude’s broadcasts are perfectly complemented by the hottest of sound tracks, featuring Dream Warriors, King Cobb Steelie, and Molly Johnson. Uncompromising, insightful, and blessed with consistently exacting performances, Rude is a thoroughly invigorating experience.

— David McIntosh, Toronto Film Festival

Screening Details

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