On Their Knees
Programme: Perspective Canada
Director: Anais Granofsky
Time: 85 minutes
Film Types: Colour/16mm
Tuesday, September 11,2001 07:30 PM ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM
Thursday, September 13,2001 11:15 AM ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM
Production Company: Have Mercy Pictures Inc.
Executive Producer: Ram Fakeer
Producer: Vicki Gryspeerdt
Screenplay: Anais Granofsky
Cinematography: James Griffith
Editor: Dan Sadler
Production Designer: Tyrone Eversley
Sound: Bissa Scekic
Music: Aaron Davies
Principal Cast: Anais Granofsky, Ingrid Veninger, Ram Fakeer, Jackie Burroughs, Julian
Richings, Maury Chaykin, Peter Stebbings, Jackie Richardson, Carlo Rota, Clark Johnson
Anais Granofsky has been in front of the camera since her days as a teen actor on Degrassi Junior High. Now she is at the start of what looks to be a bright career behind the camera. Her years of experience have served her well with On Their Knees, she has crafted a tender and deeply affecting story of a family in search of itself.
Mo (Ingrid Veninger) and Willie (Granofsky) are half-sisters who have grown apart over time. Willie is a rebellious, hard-drinking waitress while Mo toils away in an office. When their grandmother, who raised them after the death of their mother, passes away, the two siblings reunite. Although they have not spoken for some time, Mo convinces her sister that their grandmother deserves to be buried back on the east coast, in the place where she grew up and which is home to a family theyve never known. The first of many problems is that they have to steal the body; the next is that they have no idea where theyre going.
Nonetheless, the two quickly turn into bumbling, bickering but virtuous thieves. After buying a used refrigerated ice cream truck to transport the body, the siblings set out across the country. Moving from small town to small town, they come into contact with a bevy of eccentric characters, soon realize that they have a cash flow problem and are forced to continue their criminal ways. Along the route, however, they are able to give others in need a helping hand and to remember, eventually, how to have fun again, especially during a memorable romp through the woods. When they finally arrive, they are met with a reception they never could have imagined.
Granofsky has assembled an impressive list of actors including Maury Chaykin, Jackie Burroughs and Jackie Richardson, all of whom give wonderful performances. As a writer-director, she achieves a pleasing balance between warmth, energy and spirit a balance which makes On Their Knees a deeply moving film.
Programme note by Stacey Donen
Anais Granofsky is a veteran performer having starred in the CBC series Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High as Lucy. She has appeared on Canadian and American programmes over the past fifteen years, including La Femme Nikita and David Cronenbergs Scales of Justice. After graduating from New York University, she wrote and directed Have Mercy (99). On Their Knees (01) is her second feature.