Jacques et Novembre

Institute History

  • 1987 Sundance Film Festival


Jacques is afflicted with an incurable disease, sapping his strength, immobilizing him and putting him in the hospital. He knows the end is near, but he refuses to give in. Instead, he decides to begin a video diary, turning the camera on himself as he reflects on his life. At the same time, his friend adds detail to Jacques’ story by taking his 16mm camera and filming things that the sick man cannot show with his video machinery. Together, the two of them create a sort of testament and diary.

Beaudry and Bouvier have used very limited means to their advantage, making a film that moves its audiences through its profound simplicity. Jacques et Novembre travels between moments of humor and pathos, as Jacques looks back over his life, takes stock of what he has accomplished and recalls his relationships with parents, friends and old lovers. But, as with so much of Quebec cinema, the film speaks to a specific time. It is from and to a generation that hoped to effect real change amidst the heady nationalism of the ‘70;s, but whose dreams have been dashed in the ‘80’s.

— Piers Handling

Screening Details

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