VIFF 2022 Capsule Review: Firecracker Bullets

Directed by: Chad Charlie
Distributed by: TBA

Written by Alexander Reams


Indigenous politics and activism have long been sidelined despite the extensive history of colonialism and Native peoples being intertwined with the rise of America. With the increase of awareness of social issues being more prominent with the prevalence of social media, those issues are in the zeitgeist and that has spilled over into many forms of media. Comedian Chad Charlie has compiled clips from his standup sets and his activism with a major pipeline being installed in the Dakotas to craft a barely-there narrative that is more guilt trip than enlightenment on a social issue that isn’t detailed on most news outlets. The images and clips of the pipeline being built and the reactions of the protestors do provide moments of emotional depth, there is a true pain in their eyes and it can be hard to look at, but this is few and far between in Charlie’s short. Charlie has a horse in the race of whether the pipeline will be laid or not, the film is held back by his failings at crafting a message, the closest he comes is the motif of “we should care because I say you should and if you don’t you’re a bad person.” The issue is highly relevant, but the film stalls even in its short runtime.

“Firecracker Bullets” Clip

“Firecracker Bullets” was screened as part of the 2022 edition of the Vancouver International Film Festival.

You can connect with Alexander on his social media profiles: Instagram, Letterboxd, and Twitter. Or see more of his work on his website.

Leave a Reply