Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves

Ceux qui font les révolutions à moitié n'ont fait que se creuser un tombeau

Mathieu Denis and Simon LavoieCanada183 minutes201618AColourFrench English

Mathieu Denis (Corbo) and Simon Lavoie (Le torrent) evoke Godard’s La Chinoise with this stunning fusion of fiction and documentary about a radical Quebec leftist cell seeking to sow mayhem in Montreal as a prelude to overthrowing the government.

Intro and Q&A with directors Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie

Winner of the Best Canadian Feature prize at TIFF, Those Who Make Revolution... was inspired by directors Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie’s speculations about Quebec’s massive 2012 student demonstrations, and what might have happened had the fervour not dissipated. A study of youth and political dogma, the film, which follows four largely middle-class radicals holed up in a dingy bungalow and plotting violent revolution, is like an agitprop fire sale, loaded with incendiary rhetoric. Demanding and rigorous, it is simultaneously absurdly funny and invigorating. It is also divisive: some will find the revolutionaries sympathetic; others will be appalled by them. But few could legitimately disagree that Those Who Make Revolution... — with its opening five minutes of black film leader, fake intermission, and stunning tableau scenes — is one of the most indelible and audacious works to emerge from Quebec and Canada in recent memory.

STEVE GRAVESTOCK

Nommé meilleur film canadien au TIFF, Ceux qui font les révolutions… est né des spéculations de Mathieu Denis et Simon Lavoie au sujet des immenses manifestations étudiantesdu Québec en 2012.Les coréalisateurs se sont demandé ce qui aurait pu se produire si la ferveur ne s'était pas dissipée. Leur étude de la jeunesse et du dogme politique suit quatre marginaux de classe moyenne qui se réunissent dans un bungalow miteuxpour planifier une révolution violente, à grands coups de propagande et de rhétorique incendiaire.Ce film est aussi exigeant et rigoureux qu'il est stimulant et rempli d'humour absurde.Loin d'être consensuel, il incitera certains à prêter de la sympathie aux révolutionnaires, alors que d'autres seront complètement horrifiés par ces mêmes personnages. Mais la plupart s'entendent pour dire que Ceux qui font les révolutions…–dont les cinq premières minutes sont constituées d'une bande-amorce noire, d'unfaux entracte et de magnifiques tableaux–est l'une des œuvres récentes les plus audacieuses et marquantesayant émergé du Québec et du Canada.

CanadaExperimental + Avant-gardeLGBTQPoliticsActivism
director
Mathieu Denis

Mathieu Denis studied cinema at l'Université du Québec à Montréal. His short films Silent Remains (06) and Code 13 (07), and feature Corbo (14) all screened at the Festival and were selected for the Canada's Top Ten Film Festival. He has also directed Laurentie (11) and Ceux qui font les revolutions à moitié n'ont fait que se creuser un tombeau (16) with Simon Lavoie.

director
Simon Lavoie

Simon Lavoie was born in Charlevoix, Quebec. His films include the Jutra Award–winning short A White Chapel (05), and the features The Deserter (08) and The Torrent (12). He also co-directed, with Mathieu Denis, Laurentie (12) and Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves (16), which won Best Canadian Feature at TIFF and was selected for the 2017 Canada's Top Ten Film Festival. The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches (17) is his most recent work.