In the late 1960s, with the triumph of bilingualism and biculturalism, New Brunswick’s Université de Moncton became the setting for the awakening of Acadian nationalism after centuries of defeatism and resignation. Although 40% of the province’s population spoke French, they had been unable to make their voices heard. The movement started with students-sit-ins, demonstrations against Parliament, run-ins with the police – and soon spread to a majority of Acadians. The film captures the behind-the-scenes action and the students’ determination to bring about change. An invaluable document of the rebirth of a people. —National Film Board of Canada
An influential cinematographer, director and writer, Michel Brault worked as a professional photographer before finding himself in the field of cinema, thanks to the encouragement of his friend and colleague Claude Jutra. Brault collaborated with Jacques Giraldeau on Petites médisances (1953–1954, 39 episodes), a series made using the innovative new principles of the "Candid Eye movement.” In 1956, he joined the National Film Board, where he worked as a cameraperson on a number of Candid Eye series films, most notably The Days Before Christmas (1958, directed by Terence Macartney-Filgate).
That same year, Brault co-directed Les raquetteurs (1958) with Gilles Groulx, a work that was heralded as a sort of manifesto for the NFB’s francophone filmmakers. Defending a different approach to cinema, from then on Brault was part of a new documentary process that was equally technically innovative and artistically innovative. He worked on several films that have become classics; for instance… read more
Pierre Perrault had initially intended to be a lawyer. After classical studies, he enrolled in the law faculty of the University of Montreal in 1948 and continued at the University of Paris. He then studied international private law at the University of Toronto. He practised law in Montreal from 1954 to 1956, when he was hired as a writer for the French-language network of CBC Radio. Over the years, he would also write television dramas.
In his films, Perrault concentrated on men who reveal themselves through their language, and through their acts primarily having to do with daily life, work and survival. He often uncovered the myths underlying their activities, including hunting: The Shimmering Beast (La Bête lumineuse) (1982) takes us into a fantastic world, giving us a glimpse of the fear that underlies the boasting of hunters. More than a hunting trip, this film is a voyage into the heart of men and of self, a voyage beyond life too, a confrontation with death. There followed… read more