Explore the People and Places of Quebec with RETN
In April, RETN will feature four films from the National Film Board of Canada that provide an intimate glimpse into a few “micro-societies” in Quebec. The documentary films will air as part of a series called QUEBEC: PEOPLE & PLACE and have been licensed for broadcast in partnership with Vermont PBS.
Following up on our successful OF MONTREAL series from last spring, this group of NFBC films takes us back north to explore worlds often unseen but firmly rooted in place. Viewers will join the camp of 21st century migrant lumberjacks in Quebec’s boreal forest; peek at the fascinating world behind the exhibits at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; learn of the few remaining Algonquin and severe threats to their very survival; and follow one filmmaker’s deeply personal, but ultimately universal, quest through the working class neighborhood of Verdun. These thought-provoking and beautiful films offer an opportunity to understand more about our neighbors to the north and will inspire RETN viewers to think more deeply about our regional identity and sense of place.
Quebec: People & Place
Documentaries air weekly in April, every Sunday at 8:00 PM on both BTVHD Channel 216 and RETN Channel 16. Also available on the Media Factory Roku channel and online right here at retn.org.
The Algonquin once lived in harmony with the vast territory they occupied. This balance was upset when the Europeans arrived in the 16th century. Gradually, their Aboriginal traditions were undermined and their natural resources plundered. Today, barely 9,000 Algonquin are left. They live in about 10 communities, often enduring abject poverty and human rights abuses. These Aboriginal people are suffering the threat to their very existence in silence. Richard Desjardins and Robert Monderie have decided to sound the alarm before it's too late.
Director Claude Demers revisits the working-class neighbourhood of Verdun where he grew up and asks questions about the mysteries of his origins and his formative years, which were marked by abandonment. Bastien and Cédric, two young boys who are discovering the world around them, serve as the narrator’s alter egos. Between past and present, birth and death, WHERE I'M FROM traces the course of one man's redemption.
In Abitibi, hundreds of kilometres from the city, thousands of workers go North, as did Jos Montferrand and François Paradis. Far from their families, they spend 5 or 6 months a year in logging camps that mirror a new Quebec, those of French-Canadian descent and neo-Quebecers from Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. Filmmaker Stéphanie Lanthier invites us to spend an entire season inside this northern micro society. Using a direct cinema technique in the style of Pierre Perrault, she documents the lives of the brush cutters.
Filmmaker Luc Bourdon invites us on a tour of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA). A backstage discovery of the institution and its 150-year history, the documentary reveals the remarkable dedication of its staff and explores the contemporary penchant for music in the world of art exhibitions.