Films & Schedules

  • Nurse.Fighter.Boy

  • Charles Officer

93 minutes

Production Company:
Eleven Thirteen Inc.
Executive Producer:
Justine Whyte
Ingrid Veninger
Charles Officer, Ingrid Veninger
Production Designer:
Diana Abbatangelo
Steve Cosens
James Blokland
Garrett Kerr
John Welsman
Principal Cast: Clark Johnson, Karen LeBlanc, Daniel J. Gordon, Walter Borden

Canadian Distributor:
Mongrel Media

Monday September 0806:00PM AMC 3 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Wednesday September 1002:30PM AMC 5 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Award-winning Toronto filmmaker Charles Officer returns to the Festival with his poetic debut feature Nurse. Fighter. Boy. Twelve-year-old Ciel (Daniel J. Gordon) immerses himself in a world of magic in order to protect his mother Jude (Karen LeBlanc), a nurse at the City Hospital who herself is ill with sickle-cell anemia. The nurse meets the fighter Silence (Clark Johnson) when he needs stitches after an underground brawl. A solitary, imposing figure, Silence is shaken by the death of his fatherly trainer, an event that forces him to take on new responsibilities. Determined to find a protector for both himself and his mother, Ciel casts a spell in hopes of uniting the warrior with the nurse, thus leading to a series of magical encounters between Jude and Silence.

Nurse.Fighter.Boy is a rich exploration of the connections between the healer, the warrior and the child of its title. Officer, whose short film Short Hymn, Silent War received a Special Jury Citation at the Festival in 2002, directs with both assurance and daring. He uses a rich colour palette for his characters – red for the mother, yellow for the fighter and green for the boy – and touches upon themes of faith and destiny while remaining unabashedly romantic. The subtle narrative is carried by exquisite performances, with Johnson and LeBlanc using their physical presences to convey as much emotion as the spare dialogue. But the revelation is Gordon, who lends Ciel a depth and wisdom that belies his age and experience.

Officer's film expands the possibilities of urban storytelling in Canadian cinema, reaffirming the importance of the city within the country's cultural landscape. Officer connects the diversity of the metropolis with that of Canada's filmic past, recalling the earlier works of directors as diverse as Atom Egoyan and Gilles Carle. Personal and heartfelt, Nurse.Fighter.Boy is a unique and lyrical movie that confirms Officer's status as one of Canada's visionary young filmmakers.

Jesse Wente

Charles Officer studied communication design at the Ontario College of Art & Design and worked as a graphic designer before turning to acting, writing and directing. He has directed several short films, including When Morning Comes(00) and Short Hymn, Silent War (02). Nurse.Fighter.Boy (08) is his feature directing debut.

Cadillac People's Choice Award