Hands That Bind

Kyle Armstrong · 2023
116min · DCP
  • Saturday, Nov 4, 2023, 7:00pm
  • Sunday, Nov 5, 2023, 3:00pm
  • Monday, Nov 6, 2023, 7:30pm
  • Tuesday, Nov 7, 2023, 7:30pm

HANDS THAT BIND is a slow-burn prairie gothic drama set in the 1980s in small-town Alberta. Hired farmhand Andy (Paul Sparks) dreams of a better way of life. He devotes himself to working another man’s land, trying to establish new roots with his wife Susan and their children, with the hope that this land might one day be his. Those hopes are dashed when his boss's prodigal son unexpectedly returns. As Andy struggles with his family’s future in a world that is increasingly uncertain, a darkness settles over the community and mysterious, unsettling events begin to happen around him. As tensions grow in his relationships, desperation takes hold and Andy’s world begins to spiral beyond his control. He watches as his way of life begins slipping through his fingers, and as Andy confronts a changing culture, he’s forced to make decisions that will have lasting consequences.

Written and directed by Kyle Armstrong, gorgeously shot by cinematographer Mike McLaughlin, with memorable supporting performances from Susan Kent, Bruce Dern, & Will Oldham, and featuring an original score by Jim O’Rourke that is “luminous, faintly menacing, and clouded with uncertainty” (Pitchfork), HANDS THAT BIND is a smoldering drama that lingers in the mind long after the credits roll.

Critic’s Pick! “An exercise in mental and emotional claustrophobia, Kyle Armstrong’s new Canadian drama Hands that Bind succeeds beautifully at examining the social trappings of toxic masculinity, poverty and the desperation created by both.” Anne T. Donahue, The Globe and Mail