POL 128 (Politics and Film) - Test Two Notes

7 Pages

Politics and Public Administration
Course Code
POL 128
Laurinda Hartt- Fournier

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Test 2 Review Les Ordres – Made in 1974 is about the incarceration of innocent civilians during the 1970 October Crisi. The film tells the story of five of those incarcerated civilians. It is a reflexive documentary employing actors to recreate the experiences of 50 Quebecois interned without charge under the War Measures Act Five Central Characters in Les Ordres: 1. Clermont Boudreau (husband/father, factory worker/union steward and taxi driver)  Suspended from his job because of his involvement with trade unionism  When entered jail Clermont was questioned: “Nationality? French Canadian. Obviously...” said something after relating to being a Quebecois  Clermont breaks down in jail and cries in his prison cell, although the camera watches him it then moves away and gives him his privacy (unlike the government and prisons at the time)  While in jail an announcement calls for Clermont, informed that his father has died – Clermont believes it is because he was thrown in jail for no reason which lead to his death o Boudreau requested to leave the jail to be able to see his dead father just as a minimum decency, guards say it wasn’t his decision, it’s the Minister of Defence’s choice  Late in the night Clermont is called to the gate and said he is allowed to see his dead father o Says they didn’t want the others to know that the guards and Ministry had given in so they waited until everyone was asleep o Before leaving, Clermont wrote in the funeral book (book of condolences), “INJUSTICE”  Interrogated Clermont but gave up trying to get him to talk because there was nothing he could say to find him guilty for anything  When released guard mispronounces his name, he angrily corrects him signifying regaining identity  When they let them go, it was like outside nothing had happened 1a. Maurice (Clermont’s cell neighbour)  Maurice was severely beaten by the guards and was thrown back into his cell  Before being released Clermont has a small conversation with Maurice after being beaten 2. Marie Boudreau (housewife and mother)  Police break into the Boudreau house because the War Measures Act passes  Calls Mme. Thibault to look after kids because she is arrested (for no reason)  Husband is at work because he is a taxi driver  “When I got in the van, I didn’t want the younger girls to see me cry”  Was in jail for 6 days  When released she gets upset because she is the only woman of the group able to leave – emphasizes collective action and affiliation  When released calls Ministry to ask if her husband could be let out to see his dead father and because he had no charges 3. Claudette Dusseault (social worker)  Comforts Lavoie’s unnamed neighbour in jail as she is crying  Returns home to see all her place torn apart, on the phone with her friend talking about how the police are tapping their calls  In the beginning she is seen intervening in the eviction of a family and sees herself as someone who fights against injustice 4. Richard Lavoie (unemployed househusband/father)  Police come to arrest Richard, saying “you have no rights” and Richard replies “This is war”  Lavoie is then arrested even though his two young children (age 4 and 18 months) are home alone and at risk with no guardian to watch them  Children are shown waving on what seems as a balcony but rather a fenced roof on an angle  Was sentenced to “death” by the guards NOT the courts – one night they interrogated Lavoie for 3 days telling him he would be executed (3 days, and 3 nights alone thinking of death) o Lavoie was woken up in his sleep and guards took him to a dark end of a room – guards pretended to shoot their guns with blanks, Lavoie fainted in shock  Guards trick Lavoie into thinking he is free but is then stripped and put in solitary confinement  Lavoie was released after 21 days, after he spent a few weeks in a psychiatric ward – says they destroyed a part of him and he feels like he’s older than other people my age after that ordeal 4a. Lavoie’s Unnamed Neighbour who also gets arrested  Opens door to police asking for Lavoie, she says they have the wrong house  About to close door when they tell her to stay there – later arrested for no reason or association 5. Dr. Jean Marie Beauchemin (physician, head of community health clinic)  “We had no rights at all, but they had the rights to do whatever they wanted...” Police even watched as he got dressed in his own home (before arrest)  Woken up in the middle of the night in his cell and stripped searched – “being helpless made us so furious”  His wife was giving birth in a few days and he had no news of getting out  Was let free the same time Clermont was let free Notes on Les Ordres  Realization of how important clothes are to who you are as a person  First glance at the bed sheets and wonder how long you’ll sleep there for  Quite a contrast between the men and women housed and how they are housed in jail o Women have beds, toilets, desks, sheets, toiletries o Men have really bad conditions (Kept them in their cells for 5 days straight and had to use toilet water to shave and clean themselves)  When you’re in the jail at the beginning you’re given nothing and then one by one they give you those little things that seem like essentials o Everything is upside down, washing the floor is considered a “privilege” to you  When finally given food, the film preserves a sense of privacy as it pans away from Clermont eagerly eating the food (hasn’t eaten for days)  BLACK AND WHITE vs. COLOUR REASONING: Black and white is reserved for scenes outside of the prisons – implies that although they are on the outside, because security and police are watching people are still not free  END: What happened to us is nothing really. But we must realize it shows something is rotten somewhere. We mustn’t let the sickness...  Text points out: In the context of the events that occurs, film implies there is an unresolved problem that has spread out all of Quebec and possibly Canada, connotatively interpreted on how fragile our human rights are. We’re so proud of them but we take them for granted. Beginning Quote:  “When a given form of authority commits an injustice on a man, all other men are guilty, because they through their silence and consent allowed the authority to commit that abuse.” – Pierre Elliot Trudeau Jerome Choquette:  Know his position in the Quebec government and how he represented in Les Ordres  The manifest (plan) of the FLQ was to ask for $500,000 and the release for 20+ political prisoners in jail o The plan backfired as Choquette refused the requests of the FLQ, they only said they would READ the manifesto to the French civilians but the government did not cave in to the demands – this lead to the kidnapping of Pierre Laporte  He was the Quebec Minister of Justice during the October Crisis and one of the targets of the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) terrorists who kidnapped and murdered Pierre Laporte, his fellow cabinet member and Vice-Premier. Seen as a decisive and strong Cabinet Minister, Jérôme Choquette took the position during the Crisis that the government of Quebec could not give in to the FLQ demands without comprising its responsibility as the democratically elected Government. Following the resolution of the Crisis and expiration of the War Measures Act, Choquette brought in the services of the Quebec Ombudsman and provided the vehicle by which anyone unjustly treated had their case reviewed and given proper compensation.  During the October Crisis, Choquette supported the suspension of civil rights under the War Measures Act. However, at other times he was a strong supporter of human rights for everyone except women, [1Choquette was the Cabinet Minister who helped create the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and introduced it into the National Assembly in 1975. The FLQ:  Nationalist and Marxist revoluntionary group in Quebec that seeked Quebec’s interdepdence  They perceive themselves as working class revolutionaries, they didn’t feel the political ways were not addressing the working class and social issues that risen in The Duplessis Era.  They made this clear by their behaviour throughout the 1960’s to the 1970.  In the 60’s the engage in a bunch of bombings in Quebec City and Montreal, their targets were Anglo-businesses and representations of the Crown. They bombed places like the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Eaton’s, BUT mostly they targeted the mailboxes o They fundraised their bombings through robbing banks o Responsible for over 200 bombings o What they saw in the election was a loss o In early October of 1970 they began series of kidnapping (kidnapped with taxis) o Kidnapped British Trade Commissioner James Cross and killed Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte  FLQ said they had thousands of support, not necessarily meaning active members rather saying the thousands represented the working class members of society  Anyone who was a French Canadian, lived in Quebec of a certain name and disrespected the government found their name as a “FLQ member” Michel Brault:  Film producer and director of Les Ordres  Leading figure of the “Direct Cinema” or “Cinema Verite” which were characteristic of the French half of the National Film Board of Canada in the 1960’s  Brault was a pioneer of the hand-held camera aesthetic
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