VIFF: Poet Shane Koyczan confronts his troubled childhood in Shut Up and Say Something

Open this photo in gallery: Shut Up and Say Something focuses on acclaimed spoken-word artist Shane Koyczan’s childhood. Shane Koyczan is in most scenes of a revealing documentary about his life, but the acclaimed spoken-word performer says he was troubled by what he felt was his lack of control in the project. The 82-minute film, Shut Up and Say Something, is a candid and compelling look at one of Canada’s most noted cultural figures. It focuses on his difficult childhood, a reconciliation with his long-estranged father and on meeting some family members for the first time, including a sister and nephew. Mr. Koyczan, whose career took off after a much-lauded performance at the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, was raised in Yellowknife by his grandparents, and, until events recounted in the film, had not spoken to his father, Len, since he was a child. Shut Up has screened to great praise at the Vancouver International Film Festival this year, including winning a #mustseebc award during VIFF. The film will be airing next spring on B.C.’s Knowledge Network, which financed the project. But in an interview last week, Mr. Koyczan raised concerns about what’s on screen. For […]

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