A STATEMENT FROM WRITER & DIRECTOR KEVAN FUNK
"LIKE THE VAST MAJORITY OF MY SHORT FILM WORK THAT I HAVE MADE LEADING UP TO THIS, THE FILM IS INTENDED TO BE ENGAGED IN SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CRITICISM."
To that point, the idea of this being a hockey film is in fact a red herring. I want to take advantage of that expectation by subverting the genre, one that is notoriously provincial and fallaciously superficial, and make a film that can speak to any audience in a resonate, provocative and engaging way.
While this film certainly has a conscious awareness of contemporary events in which it has a very clear and literal connection to those, my ambition is to have the film speak to the issue of violence and the systemic power dynamics of a cultural apparatus that cultivates an environment in which these types of incidents occur (not just within sport but in a broader cultural context).
I am much more interested in examining societal responsibility and culpability as opposed to the personal. That is not to say that I feel that personal responsibility should in anyway be underestimated or undermined, but I feel that it is much easier to come to a conclusive consensus on issues of personal responsibility as opposed to societal ones. As well, arriving at a conclusion on personal accountability often seems so profoundly incomplete and hollow because we are so deeply molded by the environment in which we exist.
I feel that this is especially true when looking at the issue of violence. Violence most often seems to be something that is passed down, and while the perpetrators of those acts are directly and undeniably responsible for their actions, there is a larger piece of the puzzle that often remains unaccounted for.
The culture of violence is maintained and sustained by passive societal approval in the form of indifference and ignorance, on a general level and among people in positions of power.
Systemic issues such as these are commonly hierarchical, something that this film is interested in examining, as well as the circular cycle in which these sorts of enabling attitudes and behaviors are predicated upon.
I have always been driven, first and foremost, by stories that engage me on a profound level. And it is always my goal to make work that exists not as a passive experience for an audience but as something that activates them. I believe that, along with entertaining an audience, films can have a genuine sense of agency, something that can be translated directly to the viewer through their experience of watching the film.
Some may see that as simply an optimistic ideal of what cinema can be but it is something I pursue and strive for, in earnest, each time out. And it is certainly what I intend to achieve with Hello Destroyer.