Monday, June 24, 2024

Three words to understand Hochelaga, the land of souls

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Tony Vaughn
Tony Vaughn
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Francois Girard is accustomed to ambitious projects (Red violinAnd the 32 short films about Glenn GouldA big challenge in 2018 with Hochelaga, Land of Souls, It is presented as an exploration of “the spirit of Quebec to its American Indian roots.” Only this! Let’s try to better understand this movie event in three words.

The role of Jacques Cartier was played by actor Sebastian Ricard (Photo: Max Films / Marilyn Jilino Payet)


Everything in this work by François Girard is unprecedented. First, instead of following the usual path, Hochelaga, Land of Souls – The first film Gerrard shot entirely in Montreal – was revealed to the public during 375e Montreal Anniversary, as it was part of the celebration program. This, among other things, explains the construction of the film into several panels, relating to various stages in the history of Hochelaga (from the original name of Montreal) over a period of more than 750 years! It is also what legitimizes the Pharaonic budget for production, i.e. $ 15 million.

Samyan, in his role as a young archaeologist, is suspended in a huge crater by a belt lit by a headlamp.
Rapper Samian plays a young archaeologist in Hochelaga, Land of Souls Photo: Max Films / Marlène Gélineau Payette


It unfolds in four main stories, sparked by the defense thesis of a young archeology student, StoryHochelaga, Land of Souls He definitely has ambition. But what’s even more surprising is Gerrard’s play, stunning, and sometimes even breathtaking: Nicholas Bulldock’s gorgeous photography, slow motion, wide and subtle movements, and Percival Molson’s sagging stadium scene … the look is unmistakable.

A scene from a movie
Scene from the movie “Hochelaga, Land of Souls” Photo: Seville Films


If the film’s mission is to revisit Montreal’s history, it does so with a clear goal: to return their rightful place to those who actually founded the place, the Indians.

Thus, the four returns in the past are devoted to the Iroquois massacre in 1267, to the visit of Jacques Cartier in 1535, the epidemic of purple fever in 1687 and the uprising of the Patriots in 1837. The role of the young student, the spiritual leader of the Algonquin, Dominic Rankin, served as a counselor, and all the roles of the Native Americans (up 300 extras) are operated by indigenous people, respecting languages ​​… Apart from the film itself, it is definitely necessary to applaud the work of Gerrard, eager to re-establish a historical fact about our roots, which cinema usually does not pay much attention to.

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Hochelaga, Land of Souls, On HERE TV on Friday May 21 at 11:34 pm Trailer (Source: YouTube)

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