We are in a gigantic mental hospital where children were locked up. Were they sick? No, they simply didn’t have any family anymore. To escape this oppressive world, they create a parallel universe: the basement of the institution where, in a labyrinth of tunnels, they founded an independent society, with its rituals, its spells. A young girl, Agnès, reigns over this underworld that adults seem to tolerate. But a dying child disappears. The children are suspected. Between the two societies, it is now war… They seatch the basement, flush out the children, try to take away their world. The republic of children will be destroyed. —National Film Board of Canada
Claude Jutra (March 11, 1930 – November 5, 1986) was a Canadian actor, film director and writer. The Prix Jutra are named in his honor because of his importance in Quebec cinema history. He was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec.
Claude Jutra was born in Montreal, Quebec and studied to be a doctor before turning to his first love, the cinema. In 1954 he went to work at the National Film Board of Canada where he trained in all facets of filmmaking. In 1958 he went to France to work with François Truffaut and Jean Rouch.
With financing and production provided by the National Film Board of Canada, Jutra co-wrote and directed the acclaimed 1971 film Mon oncle Antoine as well as directing several cinema verite shorts such as La lutte and The Devil’s Toy. He also co-directed with Norman McLaren and starred in the pixilation short A Chairy Tale.
In 1984, he was awarded the Prix Albert-Tessier, given to individuals for an outstanding career in Québec cinema.
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