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Carré blanc

Quebec Premiere
  • France
  • 2011
  • 77 mins
  • HD
  • French
  • English (subtitles)
Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival 2011
Official Selection, Fantastic Fest 2011

"Brilliant... one of the most self-assured and confident debut films in years" — Todd Brown, TWITCH

“Une œuvre profondément sans concessions, à tous les points de vue” — Nicolas Gilli, EXCESSIF

Before committing suicide, Philippe’s mother suggests to him that he should learn how to pretend. If he wants to survive on this planet governed by the law of the fittest, he will have to learn how to be like everyone else, hiding the humanity they will attempt to rip away from him. Sent to an orphanage, he undergoes a peculiar training aimed at divesting him of pity and instilling in him a potential for violence. He cracks, however, and attempts to join his mother in the grave. He is saved at the last minute by Marie, a young resident of the institution he calls home.

Years later, Philippe and Marie are now a couple. Capably meeting the criteria of an ideal citizen, he has risen to success and obtained an important position in a soulless company. His duty: to push the company’s employees to their limits by making them go through a series of strange and cruel aptitudes test, a task he shines at. Marie, on the other hand, is elsewhere. Unable to bear her husband’s child, a condition very badly perceived by a state that valorizes procreation, she now sees her spouse’s true colours — those of a man who’d be renounced by his own mother. This new perception also causes her to discover something hidden that lives in this world crushed by oppression. A light that resists.

Like George Orwell’s “1984,” CARRÉ BLANC presents a terrifying vision of a dystopian future. Writer/director Jean-Baptiste Léonetti’s imagined world of shadows and desperation, while following its own particular logic, closely resembles our own. His feature immerses us in an absurd and brutal society literally plagued by cannibalistic surveillance. In this sense, more than creating unforgettable sequences of rare power, the enigmatic tests given by Philippe to his employees are troubling testimonies to society’s desensitization to daily nastiness. Just like a nightmare, CARRÉ BLANC carves with surgical coldness our deepest fears of a future that sometimes feels ever darker. With remarkable visual composition and impressive performances, this captivating film debut has been hailed by critics as a major find for fantastic cinema. After an impressive international tour, it has finally arrived in Montreal.

— Simon Laperrière