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Juan Diego Botto,
Prejudice, perfidy, love, and bravery in Québec. In 1779, a priest on his deathbed receives a young woman. Flash back 20 years: Marie-Loup, an herb-dispensing peasant, falls for François, a man of property. The priest's perfidy and the treachery of a soldier separate the lovers and set in motion a chain of events leading to a death, a trial, and an execution. The action unfolds against a backdrop of England's take-over of French-Canada, the Church's manipulations to maintain spiritual hegemony, and the limited rights of woman and indigenous peoples. Watching it all is Marie-Loup's daughter, named France, who, when grown, is the dying priest's visitor in prelude and coda. Written by
Film can't decide what it is and is bad at everything anyway.
Please, do not waste your time and money with this stinker of a turkey.
This is an over-the-top melodramatic love story set against the background of New France (aka Quebec in the 18th century). Or is it an historical saga of New France with an epic romance thrown in? I don't know, and at this point I don't care anymore.
There is a rich story to be told out there about the intrepid French adventurers, rogues and other assorted characters who settled Canada and parts of the US. This is not it. The characters are total clichés, the story is overblown, breathless and devoid of any charm, and before long all the viewer wants to do is get the heck out of the theatre, have his or her head checked, and get hold of his or her anger at being taken in by the hype.
This film was the biggest disappointment of my year in terms of cinema, especially since, as an historian and a French Canadian or Canadian of French descent (or whatever) I am a) a believer in the fact that the story of my people in this country has yet to be told as well as it could on film b) interested in this subject c) a film-lover who thinks cinema these days could do wonders with this grandiose and tragic story.
As I said, do not waste your time with this frustrating bit of claptrap.
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