Rhymes for Young Ghouls

Director: Jeff Barnaby Year: 2013 Run Time: 88min
Rhymes for Young Ghouls (Rimes pour revenants) (2013)

It’s 1976 on the Red Crow Mi’kmaq reserve, and 15-year-old Aila (Jacobs) is the weed princess of her community. Hustling drugs with her uncle Burner, she sells enough dope to pay a “truancy tax” to Popper, the sadistic “Indian agent” who runs St. Dymphna’s Residential School.

It’s a tough life, but she’s making it work. That is, until the precarious balance of her world is threatened by her father’s return from prison, and the theft of her drug money.

Part fable, part small-town drama, Rhymes for Young Ghouls is a richly imaginative and striking drama about growing up during a very dark time in Canada’s treatment of Indigenous people.

“A savvy [Indigenous] genre film with a strong, beautiful and ingenious heroine whose courage helps right an injustice.” — Liam Lacey, The Globe and Mail

Staff Pick:

"An intense and unapologetic film about residential school like no other, this film is sure to change the way you think about Canadian-Indigenous relations both past and present. Required viewing for all Canadians (who can stomach it)." —Melissa


Jeff Barnaby


Jeff Barnaby


Justine Whyte, Aisling Chin-Yee, John Christou


Glen Gould, Brandon Oakes, Devery Jacobs, Roseanne Supernault


Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy




English, French

Closed Captioning:



Rhymes for Young Ghouls is filmed and set in Quebec. Jeff Barnaby is from Ontario.

Ratings by Province:

14A Alberta
18A British Columbia
14A Manitoba
14A New Brunswick
14A Newfoundland and Labrador
14A Nova Scotia
14A Northwest Territories
14A Nunavut
14A Ontario
14A Prince Edward Island
13+ Québec
18A Saskatchewan
18A Yukon