Les passeurs

Les passeurs

Release date:


Running time:

79 minutes


Available on DVD

Closed Captioned:


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French with English subtitles

Fictional characters Ulysse, Maya, Adam, Barbara and Thomas pace Montreal's Boulevard St. Laurent, attuned to the stories of the real people they meet. A Haitian Innu, a punk rocker, a pale-skinned Cree, a Laotian theology student, a Hassidic couple, an elderly matron from the townships who was her family's seventh-born...with candour, passersby express a sense of belonging to the city, their culture, community, family and language. The facets of their identity complement one another as often as clash. On one level a film about being Québécois, at another, it is a meditation on storytelling, on the many worlds we visit through poetry, song and personal narrative. As the young wanderers absorb the rhythm of every overheard language, they begin to understand more closely how each person cobbles together identity.

Interweaving scenes from Le chat dans le sac, Gilles Groulx's seminal film on Québec's Quiet Revolution, filmmaker Hejer Charf both employs a "Cinéma direct" style and reconsiders the isolation felt by Québec's Francophone majority. The two solitudes may have multiplied as the face of Montreal has diversified, but Les passeurs points to a future where Montreal's many cultures create a new collective identity. With quotes from Jack Kerouac, Omar Khayyam, Arthur Rimbaud, Rainer Maria Rilke and the Koran, this road movie of less than a dozen blocks embraces all the world.

Ulysse, Maya, Adam, Barbara et Thomas sont les personnages fictifs de ce film qui se construit avec des histoires vraies. Des Québécois d'origines diverses racontent leur appartenance à l'identité québécois : dialogue des différences et réconciliation des origines pour une humanité possible.

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