A Sri Lankan tsunami survivor’s difficult adjustment to refugee life in Canada is the focus of “Snow,” documentarian Rohan Fernando’s debut narrative feature. Buoyed by effective perfs from a largely non-pro cast and well-judged production values, this quietly involving drama has modest commercial potential, but merits further fest travel and consideration by quality cable/disc programmers.
A far cry from “Hereafter’s” elaborate tsunami depiction, prologue finds 24-year-old protag Parvati (Kalista Zackhariyas) enjoying a sibling bonding moment in her family’s stilt-built village home when a rumbling is heard and she looks outside to face unseen impending horror with open-mouthed disbelief. Next thing we know, she’s in Halifax, having lost her immediate family and fiance. She’s now an awkward houseguest to expat relatives who’ve welcomed her to varying degrees, unfortunately dominated by an uncle (Mohan Fernando) who simply wants to marry her off to the first bidder. Getting a hotel housekeeping job, she meets another grieving soul (Sobaz Benjamin) inconsolable over his own familial loss. Parvati’s concern for this suicidal stranger, as well as for a homeless girl (Ria Mae) she befriends, leads the story in unexpected directions before a lyrical, open-ended fade.