The multi-award winning Canadian movie I Killed My Mother (J’ai Tue Ma Mere) and critically acclaimed Prodigal Sons are set to play the Vancity Theatre beginning Wednesday, March 10th.
I Killed My Mother (J’ai Tue Ma Mere)
Xavier Dolan’s debut feature may be the Canadian film success story of the year with a triumvirate of prizes at the Cannes Festival’s Quinzaine, named best foreign language film in France’s Cesar Awards, named best Canadian feature at last year’s Vancouver International Film Festival and chosen best Canadian film by the Vancouver Film Critics Circle. And that is just a small sample of the awards the movie has garnered.
At just 17, Dolan penned the script for this semi-autobiographical story of a stormy relationship between a mother (Anne Dorval) and her son. Hubert (Dolan, now 21) is a precocious, opinionated and just-out-of-the-closet teenager whose contempt for his mother consumes him. He fosters animalistic disdain for everything about her: the way she eats, her Fort Lauderdale shopping finds, and her kitschy décor. Every idiosyncrasy is magnified in his eyes, and he’s less than shy about expressing his derision. Hubert’s mother is an old-school master of manipulation and guilt, who is her son’s match in tongue-lashing. Their exasperation is mutual, and when she’s finally had it and sends Hubert to the aptly titled Our Lady of Sorrows boarding school, it seems that their strained relationship will fall irreparably apart. Between the violent outbursts are countless moments of truth and tenderness. ‘It’s a paradox having a mother that you are incapable of loving, but incapable not to love,’ Hubert confesses.
How much of what we think of as “myself” is pre-determined by genetic inheritance? To what extent are we able to re-invent or even recreate ourselves – and if we can pull it off, how does that affect those who love and know us best: our family?
Kimberly Reed’s astonishing and courageous documentary begins as if it’s going to be one kind of film, and then veers off somewhere entirely. Reed is an apparently self-assured, confident New York filmmaker, albeit anxious about returning to Montana for a high school reunion. It will be her first homecoming since she left, and she’s by no means sure of the kind of reception she will receive – because back then, “she” was a “he”, the star quarterback on the football team. That’s shocker number one. But the film’s second turn is enough to push Kim’s story into the background. It involves her adopted brother Marc, who is also struggling with identity issues, with psychiatric illness, and with a legacy linking him with maybe the greatest movie ever made…
I Killed My Mother (J’ai Tue Ma Mere) & Prodigal Sons
Vancity Theatre, Vancouver International Film Centre, 1181 Seymour Street
Tickets are $8 – $10 (plus one-time $2 membership fee). Visit the Vancity Theatre website for more information and tickets.