Archive of films The Demons / Les démons

2015, 118 min

Section: Variety Critics' Choice
Year: 2016

Ten-year-old Felix is growing up in a peaceful environment and you might say his childhood is ideal. The movie looks at events through his eyes, thereby revealing little by little how much fear and anxiety even a so-called normal child experiences at every turn. Thanks to his heightened sensitivity, the boy seems to feel when actual danger is lurking nearby.


Fevered imagination and nightmarish reality brush shoulders to disconcerting effect in Quebecois filmmaker Philippe Lesage’s extraordinary examination of childhood fears festering in broad suburban daylight. Putting his documentary training to disciplined use as he teases out the largely internalized insecurities – sexual, social and practical – of his 10-year-old protagonist, Lesage initially balances good-humored humanism with a formal sangfroid suggestive of a summer-brightened Haneke. A provocative shift in perspective at the midway point, however, calls the irrationality of those young neuroses into question: As word spreads through the community of a series of child kidnappings, the boy’s fears are concentrated on a threat that cannot easily be explained away, left ambiguous until, an hour into the film, Lesage abruptly breaks away from his experience to trace the adjacent arc of an insidious (but likewise insecure) authority.

Guy Lodge

About the director

Philippe Lesage (b. 1973, Saint Agip, Quebec), a distinctive Canadian documentarist, graduated from McGill University in Montréal and from Denmark’s European Film College, where he later taught. He directed four feature-length documentaries that received a variety of foreign and domestic prizes, including a Jutra Award for best Québécoise documentary of the year (The Heart That Beats / Ce cœur qui bat, 2010). He debuted in docs with Can We Live Together? (Pourrons-nous vivre ensemble?, 2006), followed by How Can You Tell If Little Fish Are Happy? (Comment savoir si les petits poissons sont heureux?, 2009), and Laylou (2012). He turned to narrative film with the psychological drama The Demons, screened in competition at the San Sebastián IFF and honored at the festivals in Toronto, San Francisco, Budapest, and elsewhere, and Copenhague A Love Story which will be released in 2016.


Be For Films
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Tel: +32 489 802 123, +33 614 343 755

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Variety Critics' Choice
Director: Philippe Lesage
Screenplay: Philippe Lesage
Dir. of Photography: Nicolas Canniccioni
Editor: Mathieu Bouchard-Malo
Art Director: Marjorie Rhéaume
Producer: Galilé Marion-Gauvin
Production: L'unité centrale
Coproduction: Les films de l’autre
Cast: Edouard Tremblay-Grenier, Pier-Luc Funk, Yannick Gobeil-Dugas, Vassili Schneider
Sales: Be For Films


Philippe Lesage

Film Director

Pamela Leu

Sales Agent


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