Director: Micheline Lanctot
Screenwriters: Micheline Lanctot

Institute History

  • 1987 Sundance Film Festival


Actress-writer-director Micheline Lanctot’s second feature film delicately probes the bond between two teen-age girls, Chantal and Louisette, who explore and interpret the world together, recording their impressions on omnipresent Walkmans. Sandwiched between childhood impressions and adult knowledge, the teen-agers make valiant efforts to crack the hard shell of grow-up indifference, to bring life, art and poetry to the stagnant, complacent world of adults. It is more difficult, arduous task than the girls had imagined, and it is with seemingly tragic resignation to a world bigger than the both of them that Chantal and Louisette decide upon a drastic final solution.

Ostensibly the story of these two women, Sonatine is finally a story about the process of filmmaking. Each of the three sections of the film centers around a different mode of transportation, and each has its distinctive cinematic style. Spots of color echo one another like musical motifs and the film itself possesses a formal perfection exceptional within the world of cinema.

— Piers Handling

Screening Details

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