“Do you want to hear about the other kid we lost? We had a little girl named Angela, she was quite the character…”, says Angelo’s dad as his son sits in front of him, camera in hand, as he attempts to interview his parents about the death of his two-year-old niece, Kalla. The words are shocking, not only in their content, but in the way they are so blatantly thrown out at Angelo, a trans man. The dialogue is one of the many wounds to be poked and prodded throughout North by Current, a documentary that began as an investigation of an unexpected death and shifted into Angelo’s cathartic exploration of deeply buried traumas within his family. 

This is a deeply personal film, one crafted as a way to process – and hopefully heal – old traumas. And it is this very sense of a journey yet to be completed that makes North by Current feel so raw, and at times, disjointed. There is almost a voyeuristic quality to this immersion into one’s purgatory, the invitation to silently join this family as they face years of accumulated pain dipped in both privilege and discomfort – the experience of watching almost illicit. This feeling of having broken into someone else’s house and quietly hidden in a closet equally favours and harms the narrative, often the latter. Here, Minax would have benefited from a slight step back.

“I was so shocked because I worked so hard to be alive”, Angelo states in response to his dad’s equating his transition to losing a child. In North by Current, every frame is permeated with grief. The grief that comes with death, the one that comes with the loss of the future one envisioned and – the darkest of all – the grief that follows a complete loss of hope. 



DIRECTOR: Angelo Madsen Minax

WRITER: Angelo Madsen Minax

SYNOPSIS: Filmmaker Angelo Madsen Minax returns to his home town after the mysterious death of his two-year-old niece and the arrest of his brother-in-law as the culprit.