Directed by: Bruce McDonald
78 minutes

US Premiere

For those of us who lived through it, it’s hard to believe that the grunge era is almost 20 years behind us. But for Vic and Kat—former members of the legendary (but short-lived) band Trigger who are now meeting in the harsh post-addiction/post-fame light—it is all too clear that time has elapsed.

Kat (Molly Parker of Deadwood fame, and starring in OLIVER SHERMAN, also screening in the Festival) seems to have weathered the era a bit better: she now makes her living writing jingles in LA and has at least enough money and connections to order off the menu at the fancy Toronto restaurant where she reunites with Vic (Tracy Wright, IFFBoston 2007 Special Jury Prize Winner MONKEY WARFARE). By this standard of success, Vic hasn’t done quite as well. Her sobriety is an achievement—but her addiction is always only a few steps behind her. Old resentments resurface, and the pair spends the early portion of their interaction pushing buttons and testing each other’s limits and patience. But slowly, they chip away at each other’s defenses and rekindle the connection that they once had. We start to see how these two, who seem so dissimilar now, could have gravitated toward each other to form a band so many years ago.

Director Bruce McDonald and writer Daniel McIvor have created a gem in a style reminiscent of Richard Linklater’s BEFORE SUNRISE/BEFORE SUNSET duo, following Kat and Vic as they discuss their lives, their past, their work, and their fears. A film dominated by dialogue is almost completely at the mercy of its actors, and TRIGGER benefits from two incredible co-stars: Parker and Wright turn in pitch-perfect performances, convincingly conveying the shift from halting and defensive recriminations to forgiveness and acceptance.

—Brian Tamm