By Aaron Zaretsky
Canadian writer/director Katherine Jerkovic’s debut feature length film, Roads in February, tells the story of a young woman named Sarah (Arlen Aguayo-Stewart) who was born in Uruguay but immigrated to Canada with her father. After her father’s passing, she goes on a journey to visit her paternal grandmother, Magda (Gloria Demassi) in Uruguay. Upon arrival, Magda is pleasantly surprised, but would have preferred to see her son.
Sarah and her father grew distant from Magda when they immigrated to Canada over a decade ago. Sarah is determined to renew her relationship with her paternal grandmother, while overcoming the grief of her father’s death. For Magda, she has to overcome the reality that she waited for years to see her son and now it will never happen. Does Sarah’s path end in fulfillment for both Magda and herself?
© VIFF | YouTube
The film features a lengthily road, which symbolizes the distance geographically and metaphorically in the relationship between Sarah, her father, and her paternal grandmother. The road also symbolizes the long recovery to move past grief and use it to do something positive. Along with grief and trying to heal a family relationship, there is a theme of alienation. Sarah feels detached from her native country, alienated from her family. Throughout the film, Sarah wears a t-shirt featuring a lone wolf image, which is symbolic of her alienation.
Watch the Q&A with the Cast and Crew of Roads in February here:
© TIFF Talks | YouTube
Roads in February is a riveting feature film debut for Jerkovic and for Aguayo-Stewart who was in her first leading role. The film’s uniqueness, along with Aguayo-Stewart’s and Demassi’s simplistic yet authentic performances, infused with timely symbolism, provides the film with roads worth exploring.
*Editor’s Note: Roads in February as screened at the Toronto International Film Festival ‘18