This feature documentary by Jacques Godbout retraces the life of Hubert Aquin, one of Quebec's most brilliant writers. The film revolves around 2 episodes in Aquin's life: the dramatic events leading up to the publication of his first novel, and the anguish of the months preceding his suicide. (Aquin ended his life in 1977.) An unusual montage technique intercuts excerpts from a feature film in which he was the lead actor with the recollections of people who knew him well.
This feature film is a different portrait of Ottawa, as transfigured by the loving but provocative gaze of well-known Francophone writer Daniel Poliquin. In his novels, the national capital metamorphoses, like the dreaded rat that supposedly changed into the city's ubiquitous black squirrel in a bid to win our affection. Alternating reality and fiction, the film reveals another Ottawa through the dreams and desires of his novels' characters - all portrayed by Poliquin himself.
Backyard Theatre is a documentary about playwright Michel Tremblay and director André Brassard’s flavourful brand of Quebec theatre, which captured the earthy wit and joual (slang) of Montreal's East End working-class neighbourhood. The film features impromptu improvisation by the cast of Les belles-soeurs and Demain matin, Montréal m'attend, two genre-defining plays.
This feature-length documentary focuses on acclaimed novelist, playwright, essayist, political gadfly, and practicing doctor, Jacques Ferron. Using a combination of fiction and biography, the filmmaker takes viewers on a pilgrimage into the life and fictional world of the prolific author. The film reveals a complex and appealing man who was a Quebec nationalist, an ironic polemicist, and an anguished humanist devoted to social and political justice.
Here is the village of Ste-Justine as one gifted man, novelist and playwright Roch Carrier, remembers it. In this small corner of Québec there is space in the landscape and in the vast spread of forest, but the fringe of rocks around every field speaks of the backbreaking hardship that was the lot of Carrier's father and of his grandfather before him. This is a nostalgic view of rural Québec.
This informal black-and-white portrait of Leonard Cohen shows him at age 30 on a visit to his hometown of Montreal, where the poet, novelist and songwriter comes "to renew his neurotic affiliations." He reads his poetry to an enthusiastic crowd, strolls the streets of the city, relaxes in this three-dollar-a-night hotel room and even takes a bath.
Part documentary, part drama, this film presents the life and work of Jack Kerouac, an American writer with Québec roots who became one of the most important spokesmen for his generation. Intercut with archival footage, photographs and interviews, this film takes apart the heroic myth and even returns to the childhood of the author whose life and work contributed greatly to the cultural, sexual and social revolution of the 1960s.
In this animated short, Roch Carrier recounts the most mortifying moment of his childhood. At a time when all his friends worshipped Maurice "Rocket" Richard and wore his number 9 Canadiens hockey jersey, the boy was mistakenly sent a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey from Eaton's. Unable to convince his mother to send it back, he must face his friends wearing the colours of the opposing team. This short film, based on the book The Hockey Sweater, is an NFB classic that appeals to hockey lovers of all ages.
This feature-length Oscar®-nominated documentary focuses on Malcolm Lowry, author of one of the major novels of the 20th century, Under the Volcano. But while Lowry fought a winning battle with words, he lost his battle with alcohol. Shot on location in four countries, the film combines photographs, readings by Richard Burton from the novel and interviews with the people who loved and hated Lowry, to create a vivid portrait of the man.
This feature-length documentary tells the incredible story of Ernest Dufault, a.k.a. Will James, a French-Canadian man who became one of the most legendary cowboys of the American West. For over 30 years, as he went from cattle rustler to ex-convict, he managed to keep his secret. And when he took up the pen, he became a Hollywood legend. Watch this compelling exploration of the powerful attraction the West still holds for young adventurers.
This feature documentary offers an intimate glimpse of three respected yet controversial Quebec writers. Now recognized at home and abroad, Louky Bersianik, Jovette Marchessault and Nicole Brossard have contributed greatly to the creation of a distinctive women’s literature. Confirming that fresh approaches to literature are still possible, they have helped to heighten awareness of the politics of language. Excerpts from their works vividly convey each woman’s style, concerns and rhythms. They examine personal and global issues from a feminist perspective: human relationships, work, justice, poverty, loneliness, women’s spirituality, and the future.
This introspective short animation takes place In the village of Carcross, in the Tagish First Nation. Neighbourhood pillar Grandma Kay tell the local children the tale of how Crow brought fire to people. As the story unfolds, we also meet 12-year-old Tish, an introspective, talented girl who feels drawn to the elder. Here, past and present blend, myth and reality meet, and the metaphor of fire infuses all in a location that lies at the heart of this Native community’s spiritual and cultural memory.
Ages 15 to 17
English Language Arts - Quebec Literature
History and Citizenship Education - Modernization of Quebec Society (1929-1980)
Media Education - Journalism/News