This post will tie a few different things together from earlier posts – namely some of the warmest and best values Francophone and Anglophone Canada share together (I touched upon some of those common values in other posts, but notably in the post Some Thoughts on Common Values). It also serves to emphasize just how open and accepting a society Québec is, full of people of who really value looking after each other.
I’m purposely writing this post very soon after writing the Sugar Sammy post because I want there to be no doubt that, regardless if there are the odd-flare ups of language politics, and regardless of various political views, at the level where things matter most – the person-to-person level – people really do care for each other (the fact that so many people want to overcome acrimony and to to see Sugar Sammy’s performances — taking the opportunity to find humour in our differences — really is a great thing).
Perhaps the fact that we generally do care very much about our fellow citizens is why politics can sometimes get so heated. People care about their society to such an extent that it can become emotional. But that caring generally always translates into looking out for your fellow citizen (regardless of your political stripes – Left, Centre, Right, Sovereignist, Federalist – this is where political lines don’t matter). This is one of the things I love the most about Canada, about Anglophones, about Francophones, and about things we see happening on the ground every day in every province.
Gabrielle is a Montréwood movie which garnered a fair amount of attention in 2013. In a nutshell, it’s about a woman, Gabrielle, (played by Gabrielle Marion-Rivard) who has “Williams syndrome”. Williams syndrome is a nervous and developmental disorder which affects facial features, the way someone talks, and the way someone relates to the world. Thus, in a physical and audio sense, it’s noticeable. In the movie, Gabrielle is in a choir for disabled people, and she and enters into a romantic relationship with a fellow choirmate. It’s a touching movie about bridging gaps which many people may stereotypically think cannot (or perhaps should not) be bridged. It brings into play notions of inclusiveness, our own society’s views on how we care for others (I say “our” and “we” because this film really transcends value lines we have commonly developed in Canada as Anglophones and Francophones) — and it makes us think about ourselves.
I think what really brings this movie home is the fact that the main actress, Gabrielle Marion-Rivard, actually has Williams syndrome in real life. She brings you face to face with realities certain individuals are facing across the country every day.
Gabrielle Marion-Rivard really is a sweetheart. What an amazing lady. I’m sure you’ll be able to find footage of her online.
My hat goes off to her and everyone who made this touching film. The film was Canada’s 2014 entry at the Oscars and Gabrielle Marion-Rivard won the best actress award at the Canadian Screen Awards. This movie is an example of us at our best. See if you can find it and have a look.
Viewing it in French might be a great way to help realize just how much Anglophones and Francophones share in common (I’m sure you’ll be able to find a subtitled version of it if needed).
Please stick to official sites and do not pirate (our artists, and their best efforts are part of our cultural heritage).