What does a girl with a curious eye find along the way during her journey northward? Wolves, trees, rocks, men. Throughout Gracile’s quest in search of her father, this documentary fable takes us into the realm of men. Men whose sometimes-tragic fate is linked with the territory they inhabit, by choice or by necessity… as though some inevitability hak thrust them against their will into the motion of the world.
Like the men she meets along the way — all possible fathers for Gracile — the paths she takes sometimes lead to gaping wounds: devastated forests, mine pits, an industrial zone in ruins. The plaintive wind through the trees is audible, while the men remain silent.
All along the way, Gracile is accompanied in her thoughts by her mother and by nature, as well as by an Innu grandmother whose voice fuels her dreams. This dreamlike world coexists with the harsh reality Gracile faces.
At the end of her journey, will the girl, now laden with the secrets of the world, be able to find rest in the arms of her father?
Documentary fable, 2004, 80 minutes
Featuring: Érika Desbiens and Marcel Réhel
Director: Lucie Lambert, assisted by Nadine Beaudet
Photography: Serge Giguère
Editing: René Roberge
Sound designer: Claude Beaugrand
Music: René Lussier
Immediately following my last film, shot on the lower north shore of Quebec, it went without saying that I would go further northwards, into the immense territory that has fueled my imagination since I was a child. During the adventure of making Before Daybreak, I met many people who traveled alone to work for months further north. I wanted to know what — aside from economic necessity — compelled these people to go so far away.
I also had in mind old photos of the lumber camps where my father worked when he was young. Like many men, my father experienced life in the woods — its isolation and its camaraderie. This was before he had a family. This male world fascinates me; I always thought it was filled with secrets, and that a major part of our collective history was concealed in these secrets.
Another aspect of my curiosity about the North: as a child, living between river and forest I had the idea that I could walk and walk way into the forest without encountering anything other than animals and traces of the lumber companies. I had no awareness of the Native presence (!). I often imagined such endless hikes, and autumn holidays were dedicated to the real walks in the woods that etched landscapes in my memory.