About Les bons débarras
Michelle earns a modest living by selling the firewood she chops around her home in the Laurentians to the villagers. She is helped by her intellectually challenged brother Guy and her adoring 11-year-old daughter Manon. But Michelle also has a dalliance with the local police chief and becomes pregnant. The news distresses Manon, who will stop at nothing to drive away her rivals and keep her mother’s love for herself alone.
The product of a unique collaboration between Francis Mankiewicz and Réjean Ducharme, Les bons débarras is considered one of the best films in the history of Québec cinema. About this movie, François Aubry wrote in 1993: “The combination of Réjean Ducharme’s rich world of contrasts with Mankiewicz’s chiaroscuro, highly charged sensibility yielded one of the most beautiful Québec films ever made.” In addition to displaying the talents of two women who are now among Québec’s most respected actresses, Marie Tifo and Charlotte Laurier, Les bons débarras won 8 Genie Awards, given by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, including Best Motion Picture (Marcia Couëlle, Claude Godbout), Best Director (Francis Mankiewicz), Best Original Screenplay (Réjean Ducharme), Best Actress (Marie Tifo), Best Supporting Actor (Germain Houde), Best Film Editing (André Corriveau), Best Overall Sound (Michel Descombes, Henri Blondeau) and Best Cinematography (Michel Brault).
The original 35 mm colour negative of Les bons débarras was scanned in 4K using Arriscan technology. Extensive work was done to restore the film and remove scratches and image instability. The digitization and restoration was performed in 2013 by Filmoption International and Technicolor, Creative Services in Montréal under the supervision of Claude Fournier and Marie-José Raymond, assistant directors of Éléphant: The memory of Quebec cinema.
About Éléphant: The memory of Québec cinema
Quebecor launched Éléphant: The memory of Québec cinema on November 18, 2008. Éléphant is a large-scale project to restore, digitize in HD and make available, as they are digitized, all the fictional feature films from Québec’s cinematic heritage. To date, more than 200 films have been restored and digitized. It is a particular source of pride to Éléphant that the films can be viewed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Once they have been restored and digitized, the movies can be accessed via video on demand on Videotron's illico platform, including illico TV, illico mobile and illico.tv. The films are also being gradually added, in the original version with subtitles, to iTunes in Canada, the U.S., France and all other European and African countries where French or English is one of the official languages.
The Éléphant website at www.elephant.canoe.ca contains the largest existing database and bank of information on Québec cinema.Also produced under the aegis of Éléphant, the book Les images que nous sommes, 60 ans de cinéma québécois by anthropologist Serge Bouchard (Éditions de l’Homme) provides an original and incisive history of 60 years of Québec cinema. It is available in bookstores and in digital format. The digital version, available on iTunes, includes 73 movie excerpts.
On October 10, 2014, Éléphant: The memory of Québec cinema launched Éléphant ClassiQ, the first edition of a film festival devoted to restored and digitized movies from the world’s cinematic heritage. Éléphant ClassiQ is the first festival of its type in Québec and Canada.
Éléphant: The memory of Québec cinemais a philanthropic project that is fully funded by Quebecor and from which it derives no financial benefit. Aside from a small amount to cover a portion of the platform’s operating costs, all revenues from distribution of the movies on illico goes to the rights holders and filmmakers.
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