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Mon Oncle Antoine

This screening took place on
Sunday, December 11, 2011 at 2:00pm
Yukon Arts Centre

Jutra’s evocative portrait of a boy’s coming of age in wintry 1940s rural québec has been consistently cited by critics and scholars as the greatest Canadian film of all time. Delicate, naturalistic, and tinged with a striking mix of nostalgia and menace, Mon Oncle Antoine follows Benoit, as he first encounters the twin terrors of sex and death, and his fellow villagers, who are living under the thumb of the local asbestos mine owner. Set during one ominous Christmas, this is a holiday film unlike any other, and an authentically detailed illustration of childhood’s twilight. In French with English subtitles.

Every decade since 1984 the Toronto International Film Festival has conducted a poll of film scholars, critics, and directors to determine the ten best movies in the history of Canadian cinema. This top-ten list has changed somewhat over the years, as the tastes and preoccupations of respondents have shifted and a few new masterpieces have displaced old classics. But one thing has remained constant: in all of these polls, one title has invariably topped the list, unmoved by passing trends. It is Claude Jutra’s Mon oncle Antoine (1971), which for the last twenty-five years has held the official title of “best Canadian film ever made.” While some might claim that other films are equally deserving of this distinction, no one would deny that Jutra’s bittersweet tale of a boy’s coming-of-age in 1940s rural Quebec is one of the greatest cinematic achievements ever to come out of Canada. - André Loiselle (from the essay: “Mon oncle Antoine: Of Asbestos Mines and Christmas Candy)

  • Directed by Claude Jutra
  • 1971, Québec
  • 104 minutes

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