Bestiaire

A popular sensation in medieval Europe, bestiaries were catalogs of beasts featuring exotic animal illustrations, zoological wisdom, and ancient legends. The documentary unfolds like a filmic picture book where both humans and animals are on display. As we observe them, they also observe us and one another, invoking the Hindu idea of “darshan”: a mutual beholding that initiates a shift in consciousness.

Curling

Set in a village in Quebec, Denis Côté’s “Curling” follows inveterate loner Jean-François, a single father, and his isolated 12-year-old daughter Julyvonne. Between his unremarkable jobs, Jean-François devotes an awkward energy to Julyvonne until some unexpected events jeopardize the fragile balance of their relationship. [Synopsis courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival]

Vic and Flo Saw a Bear

This is the portrait of two recently released prisoners (Pierrette Robitaille and Romane Bohringer) who learn to live in a sugar shack deep in the forest.

Boris Without Beatrice

Living somewhere in present-day Quebec, Boris Malinowski has achieved all his goals. A freethinker, open-minded and proud, he also displays a certain arrogance when it comes to his successes. For some time now, his wife Béatrice, a Canadian government minister, has been bedridden, suffering from a mysterious depression. To escape from his wife’s agony, Boris begins a relationship with a colleague, Helga, and gets close to Klara, a young woman who works as a maid in Boris’s home. The sudden appearance of a stranger in his life forces Boris to come face-to-face with the world, with everything he takes for granted, with all his certainties.

Joy of Man’s Desiring

Who is the woman addressing as she looks over her shoulder, eyes cast down, and speaks? The director, the audience, an invisible third party? Softly, yet firmly, she explains that ‘we have to trust each other’. The opening scene sets the tone of the film. We see and hear powerful machinery and deafening noise; people operating the machines, feeding them, full of concentration, locked into abstract processes; conversations during breaks in the locker room and the cafeteria. But Denis Côté’s Que ta joie demeure is not a documentary about being a slave to the machine, alienation, dehumanisation or exploitation. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]