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The Film:
Absence is a rupture, a loss. But it also implies a quest. In her latest film, director Carole Laganière (East End Kids) explores various forms of absence—and its painful impact on our daily lives.
The film was inspired by Laganière’s own personal story, of the inevitable estrangement of her mother, whose memory is slowly being consumed by Alzheimer’s disease. This “anticipated separation” serves as a bridge to the film’s other subjects as they pursue their own personal quests: Ines, an immigrant who returns to her country of birth, Croatia, to find the mother who abandoned her; Deni, an American author who is finally able to search for his Quebec roots; and Nathalie, who is desperately looking for her missing sister. Through their stories, Absences explores the deepest regions of the psyche, where our sense of loss and resiliency co-exist.
Subtly weaving its links, the film is like a chain of life built on loss. It captures the experience of a void that’s waiting to be filled—like an empty hotel room ready to welcome a tormented life stuck in transit. Through its many voices, Absences speaks to us of the immense fragility of human emotions.

About The Filmmaker:

After directing several prize-winning works of fiction (Le mouchoir de poche, Jour de congé and Aline), Carole Laganière now devotes herself entirely to documentaries, a genre that allows her to combine her social and artistic interests. In 2002 and 2003, the filmmaker won back-to-back Best Canadian Documentary awards at Toronto’s Hot Docs for The Fiancée of Life and The Moon and the Violin. East End Kids (2004), followed by East End Forever (2010), are works by a mature artist with a compassionate yet critical eye. In her latest film, Absences, directed during her residency at the NFB, Carole turns her lens on her own mother, who is slowly succumbing to Alzheimer’s disease.

Shows In This Series