Yesterday, I watched the movie Mr.Soul by director Jeremy Torrie on APTN. Eric Schweig plays the role of Steve Lonethunder, the father of Shirley Lonethunder, a native girl of 18 reported missing. This dramatic film looks at a serial killer whose murder of Aboriginal women went unreported and ignored by police and media.
This is a difficult film to watch sometimes, but absolutely necessary. “The movie is based on Warren Goulding’s 2001 book, Just Another Indian – A Serial Killer and Canada’s Indifference. Goulding’s book is a stinging indictment of Canadian society’s cold indifference to the plight of so many aboriginal women. John Martin Crawford, a hulking, greasy, lowlife drifter, was serving life in a Saskatchewan penitentiary for killing three aboriginal prostitutes in Saskatoon in the 1990s. Years earlier, he did time for manslaughter for the death of another prostitute in Lethbridge. He is suspected of several other killings. At the time of the case, Crawford was the second-most deadly serial killer in Canadian history, next to depraved child-murderer Clifford Olson. Why? Because his victims were native women working the streets – hardly worth worrying about. Crawford knew this, and specifically targeted aboriginal prostitutes because they’re far less likely to be undercover cops, and besides, he rationalized, nobody would miss them anyway.” Vancouver Eastside Missing Women
In the film, this serial killer preys on prostitutes from the mean streets of a small, mid-west city as the police turn a blind eye. With an insatiable sexual appetite, the killer brutalizes his victims and leaves their bodies at Moon Lake outside of town. A voice inside the killer’s head commands him to kill, his victims beg for death. John Martin Crawford is only too happy to oblige. But Moon Lake happens to be a spiritual holy ground for the local Native Americans, and soon the victims’ ghosts are haunting both family members and complete strangers in desperate pleas for justice so their souls may rest. A supernatural story that reminds us the dead are not powerless.
Even if, in some scenes of the film, we feel that Eric Schweig loses focus and contact with his character, his acting is memorable in the scene of the sweat lodge, where Steve Lonethunder invokes his missing daughter to ask for her forgiveness. The complex emotions of his character are expressed with moving eloquence by Eric Schweig, through his legendary deep voice. Gordon Tootoosis, another great actor, is solemn with the right tone in his role as spiritual guide and healer , and the young actress playing the role of Shirley Lonethunder (April Seenie) is disarmingly natural.
Director: Jeremy Torrie
Writer: Jeremy Torrie
Actors: Eric Schweig, Gordon Tootoosis, April Seenie, Mike Butters, John Kapelos, Lois Brothers, Monika Schurmann, David Stuart Evans, Darcy Fehr, Deena Fontaine, Rachel Seenie, Rayne Jimmy, Stan Lesk, Holly Bernier, Dellarees Sawanash.