FIN FEST REVIEW: Blistering Black Ice highlights racism in Canada’s game

Black Ice is a film that’s required viewing for Canadians wishing to understand hockey and its storied – and problematic – history in this nation.

To see the depth and commitment to telling the full story of African-Canadian players and their contribution to the sport is what makes Black Ice an essential work.

Oscar nominee Hubert Davis creates a terrific exploration of the horrific treatment faced by African-Canadian players throughout the entire hockey system, including the NHL. He follows from The Coloured Hockey League of the Maritimes to the NHL, and is thorough start-to-finish.

From personal anecdotes to news headlines, history books and more, the experiences chronicled here are infuriating, and come from all different important sources.

Former NHLer Akim Aliu to current players Wayne Simmonds, Anthony Duclair, P.K. Subban, Darnell Nurse, and Nova Scotian goalie Mark Connors all have important perspectives. This doc draws from numerous experiences. It also looks at gender inequities, and as a whole, is a worthy and explicit condemnation of our systemic racism in sport.

From producers Maverick Carter, LeBron James, rapper Drake, and more, this is a film wholly unafraid to push buttons. If Black Ice can enact some real societal change, it will have achieved its ultimate purpose.

4/5 Stars

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