Forget pans here. And your romantic memories of a certain maple spring. On the menu, think instead of tear gas canisters, broken windows and masked faces. Before it is sanitary required.
2012 / In the heart takes us back to the heart of the events of the time, as if we were there. And not the most pacifist, let’s say. Rather the riots that arguably degenerated the most: from the Palais des Congrès to the streets of Montreal at night, passing through the famous Liberal Party convention, exported to Victoriaville.
For more than an hour, the images of screams on one side, truncheons on the other, broken windows, thrown projectiles, when they are not downright irritating gases, plastic bullets or stun grenades, parade on the screen. Thunderous background music included.
Yes, it is violent. Borderline unbearable to watch, in fact. If you doubted the brutality of which the police are (and have been) capable, you will be served. Shovel.
By the way, and before going any further, a clarification: this is not really a documentary. But rather a film of authors, engaged on top of the market, assumed anarchists. And we would be unless: co-director Arnaud Valade is the brother of Maxence Valade, who lost an eye during a demonstration, hit violently by a projectile. We would have liked it to be mentioned, for frank transparency.
It gives you an idea of the tone, carried by a laconic narration by Safia Nolin, and the bias, which unfortunately borders on misinformation at times. “From the beginning of the 2012 strike, the major television networks relayed the voice of the government and the newspapers faithfully reproduced the press releases of the police to describe the demonstrations”, it is said, among other misconceptions about the “media of mass”, which we also see here abundantly on the screen (while the spokespersons of the demonstrators are completely absent, an astonishing choice which defends itself). A little more and you hear them shouting “merdias”. It would be almost laughable, if it were not so annoying, knowing that colleagues were arrested at the time in the exercise of their profession during these famous and brutal demonstrations. So no, “police, media and governments” have not “colluded”. A dubious sentence among others that we would have done without.
All that talk hurts the cause, and that’s a shame, because that being said, this movie is obviously worth watching. He also won the People’s Choice award at the Festival du nouveau cinema last October. Archive images have a certain historical value. And several historical parallels are not without interest: the creation of the police, the first uses of plastic bullets and the use of different emergency laws over time are obviously sobering. A reflection that is essential, if we want to learn the slightest lesson from this immense mess.