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ONTD Original: 7 French Canadian Films that are Worth Watching

Following other ONTD Original posts highlighting some of the best films from around the globe, here are 7 of my favourite French Canadian films.

1. Monseiur Lazhar

Following the suicide of one of the teachers at an elementary school in Montreal, Bashir Lazhar, Algerian immigrant and refugee, is named her replacement. He must deal with his own struggles and grief while simultaneously helping the children work through their own, a task that is made more complicated by the fact that two of children discovered their teacher's body.

Completely heartbreaking. The story at the end always makes me cry. Received a nomination for Best Foreign Language film at the Oscars.

2. Incendies

Following their mother's sudden death, Jeanne and Simon Marwon are left to unwravel the final requests left in their mother's will. They travel overseas to the Middle East to uncover the truth of their mother's life, and to find out whether or not one plus one can truly equal one.

Completely heartbreaking [2]. I don't really have words for this one. Received a nomination for Best Foreign Language film at the Oscars.

3. J'ai tué ma mère

Xavier Dolan's debut. J'ai tué ma mère looks at the relationship between a mother and son. Hubert struggles greatly with the knowledge that while he loves his mother deeply, he detests being her son, and the two struggle to navigate a relationship that has gotten progressively worse over the years.

Not his finest, but definitely an excellent introduction to Dolan's films. Tbh all his films are worth checking out.

4. Polytechnique

Polytechnique documents the École Polytechnique massacre, when a male shooter murdered 14 women and injured 10 women and 4 men on 6 December 1989. The shooter blamed women, especially feminists, for ruining his life.

Polytechnique was filmed both in English and in French if subtitles aren't your thing.

5. C.R.A.Z.Y.

Zac's father Gervais loved two things more than anything--his five sons and Patsy Cline; the latter's song Crazy providing the basis for the names of Gervais' five sons (Christian, Raymond, Antoine, Zachary, and Yvan). Set in Quebec in the 1960s and 70s, Zac struggles to deal with his homophobic father and come to terms with his identity.

Montreal in the 60s/70s! Lots of Bowie.

6. De père en flic

Think buddy cop film, but French Canadian. A feuding father-son police team are forced to work on their relationship while on an undercover assignment.

Highest grossing French language film in Canadian history!

7. Bon cop, bad cop

Idk how to do a serious summary for this one. Basically, a guy dies smack on the border between Ontario (English) and Quebec (French). This means the police from both sides have to work together to solve the mystery. Lots of Canadian references, humour, injokes, hockey, etc.

Bonus: there's also a great lesson on how to swear in Quebec French if you're at all interested.

SOURCES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

This isn't a list of the ~best French Canadian films ever, but instead a selection of somewhat recent French Canadian films that hopefully contains something everyone will enjoy! Feel free to recommend Canadian films (any language)!

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