Polytechnique

Polytechnique

DVD - 2009 | French
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Drame social. Le 6 décembre 1989, un étudiant dans la vingtaine, qui voue une haine farouche aux féministes, surgit à l'école Polytechnique de Montréal armé d'un fusil semi-automatique et abat froidement quatorze jeunes femmes avant de s'enlever la vie. Ces événements tragiques sont racontés du point de vue du tireur fou, puis de Jean-François, un étudiant qui a assisté impuissant à la tuerie en tentant de venir en aide à diverses victimes, et enfin de Valérie, une survivante dont l'existence a été transformée à jamais par ce crime haineux. [(c) Médiafilm] [SDM]
Publisher: Montréal : Alliance Vivafilm, 2009.
Characteristics: 1 vidoedisc (1 h, 16 min) :,son., n&b ;,12 cm.

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BookReviewer2015 Mar 04, 2015

A tragic yet poignant film on the Montreal Massacre. Perhaps one of the saddest films I have ever seen.

a
akirakato
Feb 17, 2015

This ia a 2009 Canadian film from Quebec directed by Denis Villeneuve.
Set in Montreal, Quebec and based on the École Polytechnique massacre, it documents the events of December 6, 1989, through the eyes of two students who witness a gunman murder fourteen young women.
The film makes no judgments, offers no panaceas while faithfully recreating the historical events with a cool perspective on the massacre.
You would have to read between the frames as the film moves back and forth through time.
It is a heart-wrenching yet thought-provoking docu-drama.

LaimaA Dec 16, 2012

This is a short but powerful film, and fortunately it did not feel exploitative. I appreciated the vision in setting the atmosphere for why this horror happened. Not only do you hear the rantings of an "anti-social" woman-hater, but you get a feel for the systematic misogyny that existed at that time even from the good guys (e.g. the professor who made the remark about women mechanical engineers and children). Very moving performances.

r
re_discover
Sep 13, 2012

I recommend skipping the film and instead watching the special features. The interviews, actual footage and photos are so much more important than a fictionalized movie about the same events.

Maja_0001 Nov 03, 2011

Incredibly Powerful !!!

g
GHN
Dec 11, 2010

The dramatic happening in December 1989 at the engineering school Polytechnique de Montreal shown the ugly fact of sexist thinking still exists in this modern day of civilization, in Canadạ This tragedy has shaken the Quebec and Canada societies. This movie have presented the terrible acts of murdering innocent girls due to jalousie of one man who cannot accept the merit in the future social status of hardworking students. They are smart females and as such they were his target. This movie had missed its chance to put more emphasis on the fear, the anguish, the pain of the victims. Near the end, instead of accentuate the sadness of this story, its scenes about main actors had diluted it. Quite unfortunate!

g
germad
May 18, 2010

Cette copie du film est défectueuse et nous n'avons pas pu le voir.

j
joseph
Feb 05, 2010

Good - Polytechnique (2009) 77 min. Filmed in black & white, Polytechnique tells the real-life story of Marc Lepine’s psychotic rampage through the classrooms of the University of Montreal targeting women because of his ire with feminists. I never thought someone would actually re-enact this heinous event in Canadian history but now that it’s done, it does add some understanding of who Marc Lepine was and the events that took place at that particular school [note – Lepine’s name is never mentioned in the film]. I couldn’t help but wonder how the parents of these women must've felt like watching this film [which apparently they did and approved the final cut]. The film is disturbing in terms of mood set by the director and the eventual horror we, as the viewer, know will take place shortly. I had hoped that the film would’ve delved deeper into the aftermath of the shootings with respect to how the survivor’s felt and how they got on with their lives - this aspect was only briefly touched upon.

s
SweeTee
Feb 03, 2010

This is a very well-done film. Clearly a successful attempt at Cinema Verite. I liked that the English version was actually filmed with English dialogue and not done in French with English subtitles. That kept me from being distracted from the action itself because I wasn't forced to watch the bottom of the screen for a translation.

That the character's names were changed was unimportant as it was the randomness of the violence against the women that struck a cord with so many to begin with. To this shooter, these women were selected for their gender only and not over any personal vendetta with any one of them. I think it comes across very well.

I highly recommend this film to anyone who is not familiar with the Polytechnique massacre. It will open your eyes to the kind of world we unfortunately now live in.

f
fmaack
Dec 06, 2009

This is an incredibly disturbing fictionalized account of the 1989 massacre. None of the characters in the movie are real people, except maybe the killer, Mark Lepine, but the movie probably doesn't want you to think of the killer as him either.

The movie is disturbing. That's fitting because who would have predicted such an incident back then when school and university shootings were hardly the norm? This was the largest mass-killing at a school or university at the time. What made this incident even more disturbing was that the killer had a sexist agenda. He killed 12 women and no men.

The movie give focus to the killer, a male classmate of the female students at Polytechnique as well as some of the female students. The killer is shown as disturbed man who at the beginning tries to kill himself, gives up, then visits his mother, before going on his rampage. He's calm and focused as he walks around the halls shooting women. Apparently this is how it really happened according to interviews.

The movie also shows a male classmate who has female friends in the classroom where the killer originally starts the massacre. The incident obviously affected women gravely but I'm glad it showed men as well. This character was intended to show that not all men are as brutal and insane as the killer (obviously). But it also shows his pain in survival and how helpless he felt being separated from the women. There's always survival guilt in school shootings but there was obviously a lot of survival guilt for the men here. That's shown, I'm glad it was.

The incident is also shown again from the women's perspective. It's plain disturbing. I don't think the movie ever crosses the line into sensationalism. The whole movie is in black and white which makes it more like video surveillance footage from 1989. It also tones down the more graphic parts of the movie where there's blood.

The movie isn't for the faint of heart. I think it is a story which should be told even 20 years after the original incident. I was 9 when the incident happened and I don't remember much besides the white ribbons on the anniversary and I didn't even know what it was about really except that women were killed in Montreal. I think that people who were kids when this happened or born after it should watch it to know what happened.

The movie also begins by showing how tough it was for women engineers in 1989. I'm sure it's still difficult, probably less than it was in 1989, but still difficult nonetheless.

The film doesn't try to understand the incident or why the killer murdered 14 women. It's kind of like Gus Van Sant's "Elephant" that way (a movie about the Columbine massacre). As long as there's deeply disturbed individuals who aren't getting help and lots of cheap guns and ammunition, incidents like this will persist. Changes have been made since 1989 and despite there being shootings like the one at Dawson college, I think progress has been made.

December 6th is officially National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada. A white ribbon campaign was started by men in 1991.

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