Montreal filmmaker Jacob Tierney certainly got folks talking on Tuesday. In a piece in La Presse - click ici to read it - the director of The Trotsky slams Quebec cinema for being too white-bread, too pure-laine, and too homegenous.
“Quebec society is extremely turned in on itself. Our art and our culture shows only white francophones. Anglophones and immigrants are ignored. They have no place in the québécois dream. It’s shameful.”
“I was born in Quebec, I speak French, but for the people, that doesn’t change anything: I will always be perceived as the Outsider. Some people tell me I can always move to Toronto, but I don’t want to go to Toronto! Montreal is home!”
His point, which is right on the money, is that mainstream franco cinema here all-too-often ignores anglos, immigrants and most anyone who isn't old-stock francophone.
The comments have already ignited quite a bit of chatter. I was invited to talk about it on the Premiere Chaine's noon-time phone-in show - I was the token bloke, I guess standing in for M. Tierney, who declined the invitation to explain his comments (which were made to a La Presse reporter in Los Angeles covering the premiere there of The Trotsky). The article from La Presse elicited all kinds of comments, which you can see after the article on cyberpresse, and most of the folks writing in clearly disagree rather vehemently with Tierney.
As usual, depressingly enough, cyberpresse readers are accusing Tierney of Quebec-bashing, pulling out all the usual stuff about how we must talk only about white francophones because this is a minority culture drowning in a sea of anglophone oppression. La Presse columnist Stephane Laporte has already posted a response to Tierney - click here to read it - and Laporte says "il n'y a rien de scandaleux qu'il raconte avant tout notre histoire" (there is nothing scandalous that our cinema tells first and foremost our own history). The problem with that statement is that anglos and allos are in fact part of our history.
To me, it's just weird that so few Quebecois films give a real sense of what life is really like here in Montreal (which is where the vast majority of these films take place). No one here lives exclusively in one language or one culture. And to make that point is not Quebec-bashing. It's just telling the truth, as unpleasant at that might be.
Source Source - Interview translation quote
What do you all think?