Sister’s Dirge

When a young girl goes missing, her family wrestles with grief. Fearing for the worst, her sister takes the law and justice into her own hands.

Creative team

Writer/director/producer: Ty Giffin

Filmmaker’s statement

Through this project, I have tried to emphasize the ways in which North America’s seminal genre, the western, has contributed to and reinforced colonialist discourse. To do so, I have created a neo-western that reverses the genre’s stereotypes and tropes to reconsider whose filmic violence is justified and who gets to be the hero.

As a white male artist, I think it’s important to acknowledge my privileged position, to reflect on it and to harness it to combat white supremacy and colonialism. Due to my position, it was important that this be an ethical collaboration of allyship. I cannot speak for anyone’s experience – it would be naïve of me to claim I could – but I have tried to analyze and dismantle the cultural practices, discourses and structures that contribute to systemic racism.

In bringing the genre into the modern day, it shows these issues of colonialism live on today. Ultimately, this film is a howl of protest against an unjust system, a tribute to those who have suffered and a call to action for the film industry. In reworking one of Hollywood’s most beloved genres, I hope to highlight the importance of reconsidering visual representation in resisting racist colonial discourse.

About Ty Giffin

Ty Giffin

Ty Giffin was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba but spent most of his life in New Brunswick.

He made his directorial debut with Roles (2017) and his follow-up project Sister’s Dirge (2018) during his time at the University of New Brunswick.

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