Archive of films Maelström / Maelström

2000, 88 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2001


We meet the heroine of the film, the young and beautiful Bibiane, when her hitherto successful and carefree life is darkened by depression and emptiness. Bibiane has to undergo an abortion, her work founders and she is unable to deal with the pressure. Furthermore, one rainy summer’s night, while drunk, she accidentally runs over a man in the street. The next day she reads in the papers that he has died of his injuries. The weight of her conscience is too much to bear and she decides to commit suicide. She runs her car off the road into the river. Fate, however, gives her a second chance; she survives and meets someone who helps her get her life back on course. Bibiane’s story is narrated by a fish. A fish which came into being from the depths of time and knows the secret of our existence. Director Villeneuve on his film: “In my humble opinion, Maelström was inspired by the fact that each of us has our own system of personal and social defence: instinctively we create for ourselves an image of the world and its laws which befits us and our subconscious. For me, however, the film is a playful reminder that we shouldn’t forget to be responsible and prudent.”

About the director

Denis Villeneuve (b. 1967, Gentilly, Quebec) studied film at Montreal University. In 1990-91 he made 20 short videos for Radio Canada and won the main prize in its competition La Course Europe-Asie. He wrote and directed one of the stories in the film Cosmos (1997) which was screened at the Cannes IFF in the section Quinzaine des Réalisateurs. In 1998 he made his first feature Un 32 aoět sur Terre which was also screened at Cannes in the section Director’s Fortnight and won the Best Film award at the International Festival of French-Language Films in Namur. Maelström is his second feature film. Films: La Course Europe-Asie (series of 20 short videos, 1991); Rew FF (short, 1994); Cosmos (directed the episode entitled Le technetium, 1997); Un 32 aoět sur Terre (1998); Maelström (2000).

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Screenplay: Denis Villeneuve
Dir. of Photography: André Turpin
Music: Pierre Desrochers
Editor: Richard Comeau
Producer: Roger Frappier, Luc Vandal
Production: Max Films Inc.
Cast: Marie-Josée Croze, Jean-Nicolas Verreault, Stéphanie Morgenstern, Pierre Lebeau, Marc Gélinas, Klimbo, Bobby Beshro, Virginie Dubois, Marie-France Lambert, Sylvie Moreau, Clermont Jolicoeur, Robin Aubert, John Dunn-Hill

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