In October 1970, when the Front de liberation du Quebec (FLQ) kidnapped a British diplomat and a Quebec cabinet minister, Prime Minister Trudeau enacted the controversial War Measures Act. Under the authority of martial law, the Canadian army was sent to Montreal and 465 citizens were arrested and held without charge. One of the most celebrated Canadian films of all time, Les Ordres is a visceral and transformative journey into the lives of five people who were imprisoned during the October Crisis. Brault’s masterpiece captures the terror of the victims and is a revealing examination of political oppression and the deterioration of democracy. The script, based on 50 interviews from people detained by police, communicates the fear and humiliation experienced when power is exploited. Beautiful, sensitive performances combined with aesthetically mesmerizing cinematography humanize an intensely political period in Canadian history. Michelle Latimer
Learn more about Michel Brault.
- Toronto Star feature