Film essay on a critical issue: the notion of belonging to a country. Sentimentalism lingered or deep psychological reality if we believe it is rooted in the human heart? The action here takes place in the context of a nation that seeks itself: French Canadians and other people without a country: the Indians of Quebec, the Bretons of France. And this is the fundamental question: what are nations “viable” whose “maturity” allows them to “give” the autonomy and territory? And what is the environment that people can call “his country”?
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
Breathtakingly poetic look at the indelible importance of the collective identity. Perrault's documentaries always paint Québécois culture so vibrantly and searingly that now, when he intersperses looks at the people and the landscapes they inhabit with political dialogue, his case is almost undeniable. And yet many of the questions raised apply to English Canada too, a country regularly told that it doesn't exist.
Cinema-verite goes political and a key movie to learn about nations without country in general and Quebec in particular. Quebec politics and history crash course in 2 hours, while it also speaks about native and Bretons, and can relate to Scottish, Catalonia or or any region in the same situation. Available at http://www.onf.ca/film/un_pays_sans_bon_sens/ for free, but in french without subtitles.