19 October 2021

Denis Villeneuve's Polytechnique (2009)

Polytechnique, Denis Villeneuve's third feature, is in black and white and is a recreation of the massacre in Montréal twenty years before of fourteen young women at the École Polytechnique by the crazed twenty-five-year-old misogynist Marc Lépine. The murders followed a series of feminist triumphs in Canada, and Lépine initially aimed his semi-automatic rifle at the student females in engineering, those his twisted mind considered to be detested feminists, although he opened fire on any female (or even male) who came across his path towards the end of his bloody spree. His mercy was to kill himself too.

But this recreation is achieved with great respect for anyone (or anyone's relatives) who may have been concerned here, and the characters are fictional. Valérie (Karine Vanasse) and the young man 'J-F' (Sébastien Huberdeau) so traumatised by the massacre that he kills himself as a result of survivor guilt are invented characters, and the killer – whose suicide note is partly read verbatim from the original – isn't even named.

No comments: