In his sci-fi film “Se fonder,” director Simon Lavoie sounds the alarm about the Anglicization of Quebec.

In his sci-fi film “Se fonder,” director Simon Lavoie sounds the alarm about the Anglicization of Quebec.

Political cinema, very popular with some filmmakers in the 1960s and 1970s, is now rare in Quebec. with fusiondirector Simon Lavoie follows in the footsteps of Pierre Falardeau and Michel Brault in his own way by signing a “sci-fi film about identity” in which he sounds the alarm about the Englishization of Quebec.

Conspiracy fusion The film is set in the near future where political prisoners in Quebec serving life sentences are dying one by one in their cells. We end up understanding that this series of deaths is linked to the youngest prisoner in Ward, No. 973 (Jean-François Casabon), and the strange tapeworm he carries inside him.

Released after appearing before a judge, Matricule 973 will discover with astonishment, after leaving prison, that he no longer knows his city, and that he no longer hears its language.

Having addressed the issue of Quebecois identity in several of his previous films, including Lorente And Those who carry out revolutions half-heartedly only dig their own graves. This time Simon Lavoie wanted to address the topic in a more direct way.

“I wanted to call a spade a spade and talk about this topic, which for me is a real driving force for creativity,” the director explains.

“In our history, artists have always sought to define what Quebec is and what the experience of being Quebec is in this world. It's like a brick that each of us takes turns adding to this wall, allowing us to build our cinematography and our art.”

“But to this has been added in recent years the fear of seeing our cultural traits flattened, our language eroded, and our nation assimilated into Anglo-Saxon North America. For me, there is an urgent need to talk about this in our narrative arts, like cinema and literature. I have the impression that we rarely do that, “Maybe out of modesty or hesitation.”

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Collective imagination

Courtesy Matthew Brouillard

The imprisonment of Catalan independence leaders in 2017 in Spain was the starting point of the rebellion scenario. fusion.

“They were imprisoned simply because they wanted to hold a referendum on Catalan independence,” says Simon Lavoie. It brought me back a little to the character of political prisoners, which is very important in our collective imagination with the FLN and the patriots. At the same time, I wanted to make a film that explored horror cinema and science fiction.

Obviously there are many references to the October crisis. fusion It was also filmed in the former prison of Sorel, the same prison where Michel Brault filmed his masterpiece, Ordersfor more than 50 years.

Simone Lavoie also often quotes Gilles Groulx (The cat in the bag) and Pierre Falardeau (October 15, 1839) are among his influences in terms of political films in Quebec.

“Pierre Falardeau has big shoes to fill! He called the director. He was one of the last political filmmakers in Quebec to publicly express his desire for independence. But I, in turn, wanted to fully embrace this political orientation that resided within me.”

the film fusion It hits theaters on June 28.

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