In conversations with passionate sociologist and political thinker Jean Pichette, the filmmaker views the forced downtime stemming from the current crisis as an opportunity to rethink our modes of existence and our relationship to others, nature, science, the economy, art, politics—in short, everything that makes us human.
Shot in Montreal over a four-month period, from May to September 2020, Jules’ Impossible Summer charts the evolving relationship between the filmmaker and her 19-year-old son through 15 redundant conversations about the importance—or the impossibility, depending on the point of view—of following the health restrictions imposed during the pandemic.
The shore of a lake. A dam. Myriad testimonials that go right over our heads, just like everything else. Camped out in his car, a filmmaker stares out at the landscape through the raindrops coating the windows. Encounters emerge one by one. Voices multiply, at times validating each other, later contradictory. The filmmaker moves from worry to optimism. Only one question remains: Is there a right answer?
An investigation into how language is changing in the age of COVID-19. The complete upheaval of social relationships today is leading to the reinterpretation of certain terms, which have suddenly taken on a fatal connotation. This film is a funeral mass in memory of the word “contact.”
As the world learns to live again in the midst of the pandemic, for many Arabic-speaking LGBTQ+ people living in Montreal, this is just a period of time like any other. When you’ve fled homophobic violence in your home country and endured a painful migratory journey, or you still face social prejudices stemming from intercultural and intergenerational conflicts, surviving social isolation is nothing new.
Marguerite Paquin lives in a seniors’ home where 14 nuns from her religious congregation have succumbed to COVID-19. The film takes us from the grandeur of the landscapes of Côte-Nord, Quebec, where Marguerite has worked for 47 years, into the room where she sits confined today, finding a sort of liberation through prayer and unshakeable solidarity with her sisters who are suffering.
Many Black, racialized and immigrant women work with elderly patients as healthcare providers. Their jobs, already arduous and underpaid as it is, have become even more exhausting during the COVID-19 pandemic. While some public commentators have described them as overrepresented in this sector because of their culture, and hailed them as “guardian angels,” what do they themselves have to say? This cross-sectional portrait of some of these women takes the form of a meditative essay.
Despite the overflowing prisons and billions of dollars spent by governments, drug trafficking is a bigger problem than ever. In an unending spiral, increasingly effective repression only makes drugs scarcer, thus driving up the cost, which in turn increases criminality and makes life less safe for ordinary citizens. After so many years of this war on drugs, many observers are calling for a cease-fire in the hope that legalizing drugs might be the solution.
Strength. Challenges. Courage. Modern Alchemy depicts a quest for self-knowledge that revolves around resilience, reconstruction and rebirth. A succession of colours, each more vibrant than the last, in which one stops breathing for a moment to find a path toward inner peace. A film from the Alambic collection, a creative lab by the NFB’s French Program Animation Studio that’s designed for emerging filmmakers.
More than a decade after the worldwide financial crisis of 2007–08, what does globalization mean today? Filmmaker-philosopher Jean-Daniel Lafond takes us behind the scenes of the International Economic Forum of the Americas, a massive annual gathering at which economists, financiers and politicians hold forth on the key issues of the day. Featuring first-hand testimonials by nearly two dozen influential men and women, The End of Certainties unfolds as a multi-voice meditation on the state of the world. This observational documentary offers a cogent assessment of globalization—and its ideals, disillusionment, fears and hopes—and the quest for a new humanism, characterized by greater inclusiveness and fairness.
A glimpse into the nature of loneliness. Frances Hyland plays the part of a small-town girl who enjoys position and respect in her community as the owner of a successful dress shop, but who wonders if marriage might not have been a better choice. Disturbed by thoughts of what might have been, she resolves to live each day as it comes.