Presented by Cinémathèque Québécoise

Gabrielle / Yesterday

Directed by Larry Kent

Canadian Trailblazer Award: Larry Kent - World Premiere of Canadian International Pictures’ New 4K Restoration<br>

Hosted by Larry Kent



Larry Kent


John Dunning, Bill La Mond, Carol H. Leckner


Claire Pimparé, Vincent Van Patten, Jacques Godin, Daniel Gadouas, Eddie Albert, Richard Niquette


Cinémathèque Québecoise

Quebec 1981 95 mins OV French
Genre Drama

“Works to the strength of the Quebecois actors – Claire Pimparé in the lead and Jacques Godin as her father – who pull the film through when the dramatic scenes count”

“Another film strangely absent from Canadian film history”
- Peter Urquhart, CJFS

“YESTERDAY... was up for four Genie awards and was one of the 10 top-grossing films in Japan in 1980”

Larry Kent relocated to Montréal in 1967, initially with an offer to work at the NFB. In no time, Kent found the institution too calcified and when royalties from CARESSED came in, he left the NFB to work once again as an independent.

In the late 1960s, Kent was a keen observer of the schism between Québec nationalism and Canada. During the 1970s, this national strife would serve as a backdrop for two of his films, FLEUR BLEUE / THE APPRENTICE (1971) and GABRIELLE / YESTERDAY (1979). The former was filmed just weeks prior to the October Crisis and was viewed as “toxic” for distribution beyond Québec. The latter took 1967 as its setting but offered an alternate perspective on the era.

Working for Cinepix and from a script by John Dunning, YESTERDAY employs the language divide in Canada as a backdrop to the larger international conflict of the period, the Vietnam War. The story follows Matt (Vincent Van Patten) an American at McGill, who meets an arts student, Gabrielle (Claire Pimparé). Matt’s scholarship affords him protection from the threat of the draft, but his privilege makes him equally naïve when trying to comprehend why McGill is viewed as a bastion of colonialism in Quebec. Despite this, the pair form a couple, until the turmoil of the times intrudes upon their lives.

YESTERDAY is perhaps Kent at his closest proximity to working within the Canadian film industry. His typical brashness is more muted here. Despite this, his expat status, first South African in Canada, then anglophone in Quebec, allows him the space to see “the two solitudes” in different terms. The film garnered Claire Pimparé a Best Actress nomination at the renamed Genie Awards. – David Douglas