Your cart is empty.
Cinema of Pain - On Quebec's Nostalgic Screen

Cinema of Pain

On Quebec's Nostalgic Screen

Edited by Liz Czach & André Loiselle
Subjects Cultural Studies, Film & Media
Hide Details
Paperback : 9781771124331, 240 pages, June 2020

Table of contents


Introduction – A Cinema of Pain / Liz Czach (University of Alberta) and André Loiselle (St. Thomas University)

Section I - Indigenous Longings

1. Landscape, Trauma, and Identity: Simon Lavoie’s Le Torrent / Kester Dyer (Concordia University)

2. The Nostalgic Quest for Indigenous Identity in Québécois Cinema / Karine Bertrand and Scott MacKenzie (Queen’s University)

Section II - Yearning for a Pre-Modern Quebec

3. The Québec Heritage Film / Liz Czach (University of Alberta)

4. “La Nostalgie de la maison inconnue”: The Ethics of Memory in Bernard Émond's Recent Work / Alessandra Pires (Missouri State University)

5. Fingerless (Anti)Christ: A Reminiscence of the Church in 1966 in Denys Arcand’s Les Invasions Barbares and Éric Tessier’s Sur le Seuil / André Loiselle (St. Thomas University)

Section III - Gendered Suffering

6. The Dys-comforts of Home in Québec Gothic Horror Cinema / Gina Freitag (Independent Scholar)

7. Men in Pain: Home, Nostalgia, and Masculinity in Twenty-First Century Québec Film / Amy Ransom (Central Michigan University)

Section IV - Métropole & Région

8. The Rural (Re)Turns of Young Protagonists in Contemporary Quebec Films / Milena Santoro (Georgetown University)

9. Return to Abitibi in Bernard Émond’s La donation / Katharine Roberts (Wilfrid Laurier University)

10. Québec-Montréal: Time, Space, and Memory in Robert Lepage’s Le Confessionnal and Bernard Émond’s La Neuvaine / Jim Leach (Brock University)



Alessandra Pires (Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri)

Amy Ransom (Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan)

André Loiselle (St. Thomas University, Fredericton, NB)

Gina Freitag (Independent Scholar, Toronto, ON)

Jim Leach (Brock University, St. Catharines, ON)

Karine Bertrand (Queen’s University, Kingston, ON)

Katharine Roberts (Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON)

Kester Dyer (Concordia University, Montreal, QC)

Liz Czach (University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB)

Milena Santoro (Georgetown University, Washington, DC)

Scott MacKenzie (Queen’s University, Kingston, ON)


Since the defeat of the pro-sovereigntists in the 1995 Quebec referendum, the loss of a cohesive nationalistic vision in the province has led many Québécois to use their ancestral origins to inject meaning into their everyday lives. A Cinema of Pain argues that this phenomenon is observable in a pervasive sense of nostalgia in Quebec culture and is especially present in the province’s vibrant but deeply wistful cinema. In Québécois cinema, nostalgia not only denotes a sentimental longing for the bucolic pleasures of bygone French-Canadian traditions, but, as this edited collection suggests, it evokes the etymological sense of the term, which underscores the element of pain (algos) associated with the longing for a return home (nostos).

Whether it is in grandiloquent historical melodramas such as Séraphin: un homme et son péché (Binamé 2002), intimate realist dramas like Tout ce que tu possèdes (Émond 2012), charming art films like C. R.A. Z.Y. (Vallée 2005), or even gory horror movies like Sur le Seuil (Tessier 2003), the contemporary Québécois screen projects an image of shared suffering that unites the nation through a melancholy search for home.