Global Roots Film Festival: Québec
Fri, Apr 7 at 5:30pm
Three days of screenings, guests and receptions celebrating the cinema of our neighbors to the North.
Details and program to be announced soon.
Fri, Apr 7 at 7pm
Directed by Chloé Robichaud ⎮ Fiction ⎮ 2016 ⎮ 100 min
Film Source: Les Films Séville
In this wry political comedy, the paths of three women cross in Besco, a small isolated island facing an important economic crisis as the community struggles over the exploitation of the island’s natural resources. Félixe, an idealistic Canadian, elected as a federal deputy at only 25 years old; Danielle, a strong and confident woman in her mid 40s, President of Besco; and Emily, a talented American mediator in her 30s leading negotiations between both countries all must contend with professional and personal demands in director Chloé Robichaud’s impressive second feature.
Sat, Apr 8 at 12pm
Ladies & Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen
Presented by VT PBS and RETN
Directed by Donald Brittain & Don Owen ⎮ Documentary ⎮ 1965 ⎮ English ⎮ 45 min
Film Source: National Film Board of Canada
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.
Directed by Caroline Leaf ⎮ Animation ⎮ 1976 ⎮ 10 min
Film Source: Nationa Film Board of Canada
Oscar-nominated animated (paint on glass) interpretation of a short story by Montreal author Mordecai Richler. Set in 1930s, the story follows life in a small apartment as the family politely, and not so politely, wait for their grandmother to die in the back.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve ⎮ Fiction ⎮ 2008 ⎮ 11 min
During an opulent and luxurious banquet, complete with cavalier servers and valets, eleven pampered guests participate in what appears to be a ritualistic gastronomic carnage. This award-winning early short by director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario, Prisoners) presents an absurd and grotesque universe, drolly satirizing the endless symphony of abundance.
Sat, Apr 8 at 1:45pm
It started quietly when a group of Caribbean students, strangers in a cold new land, began to suspect their professor of racism. It ended in the most explosive student uprising Canada had ever known.
Over four decades later, Ninth Floor reopens the file on the infamous Sir George Williams Riot – a watershed moment in Canadian race relations and one of the most contested episodes in the nation’s history. Making a compassionate and audacious foray into non-fiction, writer and director Mina Shum locates the protagonists in clandestine locations throughout Trinidad and Montreal, the wintry city where it all went down. In a cinematic gesture of reckoning and redemption, she listens as they set the record straight — and lay their burden down. Can we make peace with the past? What lessons have we learned? What really happened up there on the 9th floor?
Sat, Apr 8 at 4pm
Québec My Country Mon Pays
Directed by John Walker ⎮ Documentary ⎮ 2016 ⎮ 89 min
John Walker will attend the screening.
Québec My Country Mon Pays charts the aftermath of Québec’s Quiet Revolution in the 1960s. This social justice movement unleashed dramatic cultural and political changes that led to the separatist movement, the FLQ crisis and, ultimately, the exodus of more than a half million English-speaking Quebecers. Montreal-born ﬁlmmaker John Walker reveals his own complicated relationship with the province in a ﬁlm brimming with love and longing. Walker’s Québec roots go back 250 years.
In Québec My Country Mon Pays, Walker explores a very personal story through the lens of a cast of characters including three generations of his family, childhood friends and contemporaries – Denys Arcand, Jacques Godbout and Louise Pelletier – as well as Christina Clark, a young person whose experience today mirrors Walker’s own. In a quest to make sense of a divisive and transformative moment in Québec’s evolution, they each wrestle with memories, decisions and the continuing reverberations.
Sat, Apr 8 at 7pm
Directed by Mathieu Denis ⎮ Fiction ⎮ 2014 ⎮ 119 min
Film Source: Festival Be For Film
Montréal, spring 1966.
In a province undergoing profound change, Jean Corbo, an idealistic 16-year-old with a Québécois mother and a father of Italian descent, is torn between two identities. Befriended by Julie and François, two young left-wing activists, he joins a clandestine group determined to use violence to trigger a socialist revolution in the province. This group is the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ). Soon, Corbo and his comrades are taking part in night-time activities, covering the walls of factories on strike with graffiti proclaiming the existence of the terrorist movement to the world.
Mathieu Denis’ absorbing, assured drama is based on a true story.
Sun, Apr 9 at 11:45am
Waban-aki: People from Where the Sun Rises
Directed by Alanis Obomsawin ⎮ Documentary ⎮ 2006 ⎮ 104 min
Film Source: National Film Board of Canada
Yvonne M'Sadoques rocks forward in her chair. She's lived in the Abenaki community of Odanak for over a century - and has no shortage of stories to tell.
"The priest would march into our home and order us to stop dancing. We were going to the devil, he said." She pauses, a humorous glint in her eye. "But you know - I don't really believe in the devil. Do you?"
M'Sadoques is in conversation with Alanis Obomsawin, another of Odanak's proud daughters - and one of Canada's leading documentary filmmakers. Obomsawin's illustrious career comes full circle with Waban-Aki: People from Where the Sun Rises. Having dedicated nearly four decades to chronicling the lives of Canada's First Nations, she returns to the village where she was raised to craft a lyric account of her own people.
Sun, Apr 9 at 2pm
Félix and Meira
Directed by Maxime Giroux ⎮ Fiction ⎮ 2014 ⎮ 105 min
Film Source: Oscilloscope
Hadas Yaron (of the internationally acclaimed film Fill the Void) returns to the big screen in Maxime Giroux’s Félix and Meira, a story of an unconventional romance between two people living vastly different lives mere blocks away from one another. Meira (Yaron), a young Hasidic housewife and mother, and Félix (Martin Dubreuil), a man lost in mourning the recent death of his father, meet coincidentally at a local bakery in Montreal’s Mile End district. What starts as an innocent friendship becomes more serious as the two wayward strangers find comfort one another’s company. As Félix opens Meira’s eyes to the world outside of her tight-knit Orthodox community, her desire for change becomes harder for her to ignore, ultimately forcing her to choose: remain in the life that she has always known or give it all up to be with Félix. Giroux’s film is a poignant tale of self-discovery, a fascinating glimpse into the Hasidic community, and a modern love story set against backdrops both familiar and unknown.
Sun, Apr 9 at 4:15pm
D’Encre et de Sang (Of Ink and Blood)
Directed by Francis Fortin, Alexis Fortier Gauthier & Maxim Rheault ⎮ Fiction ⎮ 2016 ⎮ 82 min.
Film Source: K-Films Amerique
All three directors will attend the screening.
Sébastien owns a bookshop and has literary ambitions of his own. He befriends Joseph, an established novelist whose work he admires. But when Joseph is killed on his doorstep, Sébastien discovers a mysterious manuscript left behind. Sasha, Sébastien’s only child, witnesses Joseph’s death, and the effects run deep. She finds herself drawn to the author’s son Sidney, and starts a relationship with him. As the two grow closer, the secrets of their fathers threaten their relationship and lead each of them to seek the truth behind the lies.
Sun, Apr 9 at 7pm
Paul is a cartoonist who lives with his girlfriend and their little daughter in Montreal in the summer of 1999. His in-laws, the Beaulieus, are a large, joyful clan composed of siblings, grandchildren and a much loved patriarch named Roland who constantly reminds Paul that he has yet to marry his daughter. When Roland’s health begins failing, the family bands together and Paul projects his own devotion by doodling several portraits of his ailing father-in-law.
Based on the award winning comic strip by Michel Rabagliati, Paul à Québec is a touching ode to the beauty of life and the power of familial bonds.