Presented by Éléphant The memory of Quebec cinema

Alien Thunder (Alien Thunder / Le tonnerre rouge)

Directed by Claude Fournier



Marie-José Raymond


George Malko


Donald Sutherland, Gordon Tootoosis, Chief Dan George, Kevin McCarthy, Jean Duceppe


Éléphant, mémoire du cinéma

Quebec 1974 92 mins OV English

In 1897, after killing a cow to feed his family, a Saskatchewan Cree named Almighty Voice was arrested by two Canadian Mounties. He managed to escape, accidentally killing one of the constables. Blinded by a desire for revenge, Candy, a colleague and friend of the slain officer, will move heaven and earth to find Almighty in a merciless hunt.

Also known as DAN CANDY'S LAW, Claude Fournier's ALIEN THUNDER (LE TONNERRE ROUGE) is based on a true story and is one of the very few Westerns produced in Quebec. Onyx Films had originally been approached to make a film about the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. But after doing his research on the subject, Fournier, a committed nationalist, decided to produce a film in which the RCMP catches a lot of shade. Interestingly, ALIEN THUNDER was the first Canadian film with a production budget of over one million dollars. It's not a John Wayne-style action film, but rather a slow-paced twilight Western with a few documentary touches that remind us that Fournier started out at the NFB. The cinematography, by the director himself, is among his finest. There is no cultural appropriation in this production, which is distinguished by the fact that all the Indigenous characters are played by members of the First Nations, in their own languages and in their own period clothing. The simple, natural style of direction makes this a work that rejects sensationalism. Produced by Marie-José Raymond, Claude's faithful partner in work and in life, the film also includes music composed by Georges Delerue. Before the screening, we will present the Fournier-Raymond couple with the Prix Denis-Héroux, which Marie-José will receive. – Translation: Rupert Bottenberg