In this daring, muscular debut, writer/director Kevan Funk sets out to examine institutional and systemic violence, choosing as his setting the “aggressively Canadian” pastime of minor league ice hockey.
Hello Destroyer features a central breakout performance from Jared Abrahamson (TIFF Rising Star 2016) as Tyson Burr – a newcomer to the tightly–knit Prince George Warriors. Despite his mild manner off the ice, Tyson is conditioned by his coaches and contemporaries to become the team’s “enforcer” – charged with protecting the more skilled players via sheer brute force. But when an unexpectedly violent play results in tragedy, Tyson finds himself ostracised by teammates, the league, community and family alike.
To label Hello Destroyer as a sports movie would be a red herring. This is a bold and searing investigation into masculinity, machismo, tribalism, systemic power dynamics and humanity’s seemingly inexhaustible fascination with athletic violence. An audio–visual tour–de–force, Funk’s debut is essential viewing for sports fans and the uninitiated alike.