Night Raiders begins with a prophecy, narrated in Cree over the images of sweeping North American forests. It tells of a swarm of giant mosquitoes and a saviour coming from the North to guide their people to safety. Writer/director Danis Goulet, herself Cree and Métis, places her debut feature firmly inside the oral tradition of indigenous peoples while imagining a dystopian future not too far from our present reality.

The year is 2043, and North America has been ravaged by war. What remains is a totalitarian regime which claims ownership of its nation’s children at only five years old, bringing them up in strict military schools, groomed to fight in their country’s futile war. To save her daughter Waseese (Brooklyn Letexier-Hart) from this fate, Niska (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers) has been hiding out in the woods for years, living off the land to get by. Their existence is solitary, dominated by fear of discovery.

When the pair is forced into the remnants of the nearest city, the real action begins. Waseese is taken from her mother and Niska finds herself among the Night Raiders, a group of indigenous rebels who aim to free children from the nearby school – and who see in her the fulfilment of their prophecy. There are many glaring parallels to real, indigenous history as Goulet cleverly weaves together past and future, the film’s sci-fi genre allowing her a different approach to criticizing the treatment of First Nations people.

Despite its relatively short runtime of 97 minutes, Night Raiders provides a deeply immersive and captivating viewing experience, largely owed to Goulet’s meticulous work to establish the film’s universe, even outside of what is seen on screen.

With impressive performances by the ensemble cast, Night Raiders is an exciting addition to the rising body of indigenous genre films, firmly establishing Goulet as a thrilling – and skilful – storyteller.



CAST: Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Brooklyn Letexier-Hart, Alex Tarrant, Amanda Plummer, Gail Maurice, Violet Nelson

DIRECTOR: Danis Goulet

WRITER: Danis Goulet

SYNOPSIS: A parable about the situation of the First Nations, Night Raiders is a female-driven sci-fi drama about resilience, courage and love.