Blanche, daughter of Emilie Bordeleau, leaves her small French-Canadian town and large family to go and live with her married sister and study medicine in Montreal, Canada. As it is the ...
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Blanche, daughter of Emilie Bordeleau, leaves her small French-Canadian town and large family to go and live with her married sister and study medicine in Montreal, Canada. As it is the early 1930's, women are not allowed to become doctors and practice medicine. Blanche completes her nursing studies, then accepts a position in the far off Abitibi region in northern Quebec where a lack of doctors allows her the freedom to treat patients as any real doctor would. Here she goes through the heart ache of dealing with the stubborn attitudes of the chauvinistic pioneers. She comes head to head with a crooked logging boss and falls in love. Written by
This was a "must see" a few years ago on CBC-Windsor
Although my town is too far into Michigan to pick up the excellent programming of the CBC, it is available in the Detroit area. THE STORY OF BLANCHE was on once a week, and frankly I found it fascinating, representative of the run of quality of Canadian made-for-TV films. Naturellement it was dubbed in English, and a good job.
I liked it: a) 1920s-30s period piece, b) exotic locales(!) Montreal and very rural Quebec, c) recalling the women of my family like my grandmother, nurses.
There was something else less quantifiable, the portrayal of Blanche herself, whose name in translation is significant. I found her fascinating, and not only because the actress is attractive. She portrays -- or so it seems to my untrained eye -- the French-Canadian ideal woman, or at least the ideal before the "Quiet Revolution," if we are to flatter the urban intelligensia as the whole population. There is a strength of quiet purity. Blanche tends to be angelic, but an angel who meets life with its shirt off: first the impossible (formal medical study in a well crafted scene), then the fall back position, nursing (first to high society in the "Square Mile," then in the bush). She rejects the possibilities of a pampered but dominated doctor's wife to extend herself to those who have no options. What an aesthete would consider "smarmy" I find inspiring, but then I am the progeny of considerable women, and THE STORY OF BLANCHE speaks to such.
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