Burn Your Maps

Poster for Burn Your Maps

Based on a short story by Robyn Joy Leff, Burn Your Maps is an auspicious directorial debut for Jordan Roberts. It is a story filled with drama, humour, universal truths and Mongolian goats—lots of them.

After suffering a terrible tragedy, married couple Alise (Vera Farmiga, The Boy in the Stripes Pajamas) and Connor (Marton Csokas) are trying very hard—and failing—to maintain family stability. When their eight-year-old son, Wes (Jacob Tremblay, Room), takes his school-project research on Mongolia very seriously, they are naturally supportive. But soon, Wes becomes convinced that he actually is a Mongolian goat herder and can even name the village where he belongs. Wes befriends Ismail (Suraj Sharma, Life of Pi), an Indian immigrant who accepts the child’s assertion without question. The two of them decide that Wes must go to Mongolia and that Ismail will make a documentary about it.

Disturbed by their son’s obsession with his newly discovered identity, Alise and Connor are divided about how to respond. In a bid to heal herself by indulging her son, Alise agrees that the whole family will go to Mongolia in search of the village and Connor finally, reluctantly agrees. But getting to the steppes is just the first part of this family’s unforgettable journey.

Farmiga and Csokas bring all their considerable skills to this charming and moving adventure story. And Jacob Tremblay, who galvanized viewers in Room, is affecting and endearing as the young boy on a burning mission. Burn Your Maps is, appropriately enough, a story with many twists and turns, and it ventures into some still-uncharted territories of the heart.

“Jacob Tremblay and Vera Farmiga (as his understanding mother) are irresistible in this strange tale of a young boy with goats on the brain.” (Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian)