Jun 06 2010

La Dernière Fugue

Published by at 18:14 under Screening Room

SOURCE: http://www.station.lu/edito-13858-la-derniere-fugue-a-luxembourg-coproduction-gem-video.html

La Dernière Fugue – A Luxembourg coproduction gem (video)

The most recent film to come out of the Grand Duchy, coproduced by Luxembourg producer Nicolas Steil, addresses the controversial subject of assisted suicide.
The subject of euthanasia or assisted suicide has been a constant debate in many countries across Europe and the world, not least in Luxembourg, a country where it is permitted. A somewhat glazed over or taboo subject that most people find uneasy to address unless they find themselves in circumstances that really necessitate it.

La Dernière Fugue, a Quebec-Luxembourg coproduction film, based on a Canadian book “Une Belle Mort” broaches this very topic and develops a touching, humane and, it must be said, “beautiful” story of a family faced with a decrepit father suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Synopsis
The Levesque family assemble in the family home for a traditional Christmas Eve meal. However a dark shadow hangs over the table as the father, who once controlled the lives of his family now suffers from incurable Parkinson’s disease, a prisoner in his own body. What is to be done when you’re in the presence of someone to whom all pleasures are forbidden? In the months that follow the family remains divided.
Despite all this, the incredible love of a mother for her husband, the closeness of her eldest son André and her grandson Sam, bring happiness to a previously abusive and discontented father.

There are in fact two stories that run parallel throughout the film: The pitiful life of a father suffering from incurable Parkinson’s disease, and the life of André the son or rather his memories of an abusive, violent and uncompassionate father he has had to deal with all his life. The two stories intertwine throughout the film with continuous flashbacks to André’s traumatised childhood. Suddenly Sam, André’s son innocently suggests the idea of helping his grandfather to die an idea that André and eventually his mother approve of, however the rest of the family, who continually argue over the destiny of their father, are shocked and against the notion of assisted suicide. There lies the dilemma of a troubled family.

This all sounds like an extremely depressing film doesn’t it? Well somehow it isn’t. Quite the opposite, an extremely uplifting film treating the subject with respect yet provoking at the same time. A totally beautiful film; heart-wrenching and thought provoking. The relationship of the four main characters transcending three generations; mother, father, André and Sam is extremely emotive.

Actor Jacques Godin plays the role of the father and delivers an absolutely outstanding performance, a role that is bound to evoke recognition. Yves Jacques plays the troubled André brilliantly, as does Andrée Lachapelle in the role of the mother. And Aliocha Schneider as the grandson rounds up the perfect casting.

The film was shot both in Canada and Luxembourg and as Nicolas Steil, the Luxembourgish producer explained in a press conference that external shots were done in Canada, internal in Luxembourg. “We created the inside of the house entirely in the studio in Luxembourg” he stated “It proved a big challenge to recreate the style of Quebec house”.

He went on to anecdotally mention that the actor Jacques Godin is actually a strict vegan, which made life quite difficult eating around a typical Christmas turkey roast. “All his food was actually sculpted out of tofu to look like meat” he smirked.

All in all, this fabulous film, expertly shot , a great storyline, with a huge dose of emotional content . A very difficult film to find fault with.

The only issue is that if you are not French speaking, watching this film would prove difficult as no subtitles are available in Europe. Apparently the version released in Canada has English subtitles.

This has got to be one of the best films in recent years that Luxembourg has produced….. ok coproduced, and is worthy of awards. Its release in Europe is destined beyond Luxembourg’s borders later in the year.

If your French is up to it, go and see this film. Showing at the Utopia Cinema in Limpertsberg from today (Friday 4th June) with afternoon an evening screenings.

A special screening will take place at Cinema Utopia on Tuesday 8th June at 7pm followed by a euthanasia debate after the film with producer Nicolas Steil.

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SOURCE: http://www.station.lu/edito-13858-la-derniere-fugue-a-luxembourg-coproduction-gem-video.html

La Dernière Fugue – A Luxembourg coproduction gem (video)

The most recent film to come out of the Grand Duchy, coproduced by Luxembourg producer Nicolas Steil, addresses the controversial subject of assisted suicide.
The subject of euthanasia or assisted suicide has been a constant debate in many countries across Europe and the world, not least in Luxembourg, a country where it is permitted. A somewhat glazed over or taboo subject that most people find uneasy to address unless they find themselves in circumstances that really necessitate it.

La Dernière Fugue, a Quebec-Luxembourg coproduction film, based on a Canadian book “Une Belle Mort” broaches this very topic and develops a touching, humane and, it must be said, “beautiful” story of a family faced with a decrepit father suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Synopsis
The Levesque family assemble in the family home for a traditional Christmas Eve meal. However a dark shadow hangs over the table as the father, who once controlled the lives of his family now suffers from incurable Parkinson’s disease, a prisoner in his own body. What is to be done when you’re in the presence of someone to whom all pleasures are forbidden? In the months that follow the family remains divided.
Despite all this, the incredible love of a mother for her husband, the closeness of her eldest son André and her grandson Sam, bring happiness to a previously abusive and discontented father.

There are in fact two stories that run parallel throughout the film: The pitiful life of a father suffering from incurable Parkinson’s disease, and the life of André the son or rather his memories of an abusive, violent and uncompassionate father he has had to deal with all his life. The two stories intertwine throughout the film with continuous flashbacks to André’s traumatised childhood. Suddenly Sam, André’s son innocently suggests the idea of helping his grandfather to die an idea that André and eventually his mother approve of, however the rest of the family, who continually argue over the destiny of their father, are shocked and against the notion of assisted suicide. There lies the dilemma of a troubled family.

This all sounds like an extremely depressing film doesn’t it? Well somehow it isn’t. Quite the opposite, an extremely uplifting film treating the subject with respect yet provoking at the same time. A totally beautiful film; heart-wrenching and thought provoking. The relationship of the four main characters transcending three generations; mother, father, André and Sam is extremely emotive.

Actor Jacques Godin plays the role of the father and delivers an absolutely outstanding performance, a role that is bound to evoke recognition. Yves Jacques plays the troubled André brilliantly, as does Andrée Lachapelle in the role of the mother. And Aliocha Schneider as the grandson rounds up the perfect casting.

The film was shot both in Canada and Luxembourg and as Nicolas Steil, the Luxembourgish producer explained in a press conference that external shots were done in Canada, internal in Luxembourg. “We created the inside of the house entirely in the studio in Luxembourg” he stated “It proved a big challenge to recreate the style of Quebec house”.

He went on to anecdotally mention that the actor Jacques Godin is actually a strict vegan, which made life quite difficult eating around a typical Christmas turkey roast. “All his food was actually sculpted out of tofu to look like meat” he smirked.

All in all, this fabulous film, expertly shot , a great storyline, with a huge dose of emotional content . A very difficult film to find fault with.

The only issue is that if you are not French speaking, watching this film would prove difficult as no subtitles are available in Europe. Apparently the version released in Canada has English subtitles.

This has got to be one of the best films in recent years that Luxembourg has produced….. ok coproduced, and is worthy of awards. Its release in Europe is destined beyond Luxembourg’s borders later in the year.

If your French is up to it, go and see this film. Showing at the Utopia Cinema in Limpertsberg from today (Friday 4th June) with afternoon an evening screenings.

A special screening will take place at Cinema Utopia on Tuesday 8th June at 7pm followed by a euthanasia debate after the film with producer Nicolas Steil.

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