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Canada, 2004 (MIFF 2004, FedEx International Panorama)

Director: Jacob Tierney

Twist Canada

Just as Gus Van Sant successfully transposed Henry IV from 14th century England to 1990s Portland in My Own Private Idaho, talented newcomer Jacob Tierney brilliantly relocates Charles Dickens' classic Victorian tale, Oliver Twist, to the streets of modern-day Toronto. This is no bowl of treacle, though, where curly-haired moppets plead for more food'it is a gritty world where pickpockets have been replaced with young male prostitutes and life on the streets is no song and dance.

Nick Stahl (In the Bedroom) is Dodge, a misanthropic veteran of the streets, hardened by years of life in the unforgiving urban jungle. One night he spots the doe-eyed Oliver, who has run away from his foster family. Taking a shine to him, Dodge introduces Oliver to his 'gang' and acquaints him with the spartan comforts of Fagin's den and with life as a rent boy. Quickly fitting in with this loose-knit family, Oliver embraces his new life, motivated by Nancy. As the girlfriend of overlord Bill Sykes, she dispenses drugs and welcome comfort to the group. But shadows haunt them and it is only a matter of time before their enigmatic pasts catch up with them.

Twist screened at Venice, Toronto and Rotterdam Film Festivals.

D/S Jacob Tierney P Victoria Hirst WS Rigberg/Rugolo TD 35mm/Col/2003/97mins

Jacob Tierney was born in Montreal, Canada in 1979. Films include: Dad (2002, short).

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