The cycle of life at the RIDM


The Montreal International Documentary Meetings (RIDM), one of the main documentary film meetings in North America, takes place until November 27 in half a dozen theaters in the city.

Subway draws your attention to two local documentaries which, as different as they are complementary, together represent the cycle of life, from the beginning of adulthood to the last moments on Earth. Place to damsels by Fanie Pelletier and I placed my mother by Denys Desjardins.

Launched Thursday with the screening of Rewind & Play by French director Alain Gomis, this 25th edition of RIDM offers 134 films from 49 countries. In the lot, there are 44 feature, short and medium-length films from Quebec, therefore 14 which are in competition in one or the other of the categories.

I placed my mother

A very personal film by veteran documentary maker Denys Desjardins (In the land of the settlers, My eye for a camera), I placed my mother is the logical continuation of the webseries The old$$e industry by the same filmmaker, whom we follow here with his sister Maryse and their mother, Madeleine.

Active all her life, the latter finds herself in a « ghetto for seniors » when her children install her in a residence for the elderly. In loss of autonomy, she “has difficulty adapting to her new prison”. This prison language surrounding the last years of this woman « locked in her illness », supported by desaturated images, anxiety-provoking music and long static shots, sets the tone for the documentary, which shows how Denys and Maryse Desjardins must fight so that their mother can end her days in dignity.

Searching for a place where their mother won’t just « spend time » waiting for death, Denys and Maryse must fight a crumbling system while living their own emotions in the face of the decline of the one who had them. brought into the world. A film which shows that, because we have badly managed the aging of the population, that we have invested badly, elderly people find themselves today in pitiful conditions.

A few moments of happiness shared with the family, scenes filled with joyful music, dazzling colors, laughter and love, make it possible to adhere a little to the documentary, which takes place over three years, ending with the start of the pandemic. I placed my mother is also dedicated to the 5,600 elderly people who died during this period in Quebec, a province where one does not want to grow old after watching the documentary.

21 November8:30 p.m., at the Cinémathèque québécoise.
November 233:15 p.m., at the Cinémathèque québécoise.


First feature film by Fanie Pelletier, who signed the short films Photo yellowed and wanderers, damsels is a non-narrated documentary that focuses on self-perception.

The filmmaker points her camera at teenage girls (and their TikTok videos, which are sprinkled throughout the film) who, between their daily conversations about abrosexuality or the number of people who have seen their last liveconfide how much they doubt themselves, how ugly they feel, even hate themselves.

Without ever forcing the note, Fanie Pelletier makes it clear how this negative image is colored by the relationship of young women with social networks, where they may be exposing themselves more than they realize. And this heartbreaking sentence from a racialized teenager who idealizes the image of the ballerina, realizing that she will never see her own beauty because of this “kind of racism built into me”.

Photo editing applications to slim down and give yourself a perfect complexion, shots with advantageous angles, comparison with other Internet users, positive comments that generate pleasure and negative comments that create distress: damsels gives compassion and attachment for this generation Z who grows up with the web, but who also develops her feminist thought at an early stage.

November 186 p.m., at the Cineplex in the Latin Quarter.
November 248:45 p.m., at the Museum Cinema.

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