RIDM 2017: Qu’Importe la Gravité (Quebec, 2017)

for Cinetalk.net

Matthieu Brouillard’s Qu’Importe La Gravité begins with some food for thought: Without understanding the psychology of weightlessness – the nostalgia for lightness – we cannot understand the psychology of gravity – “that which makes us heavy, weary, slow, falling beings.” (Gaston Bachelard). This idea brings both lightness and heaviness to Brouillard’s portrait of late-in-life friends, Bruce and Christian. At times, flight, being airborne, being free are literal, as Christian sails over mountaintops despite his visual impairment. More, the metaphor characterizes the heaviness of Bruce’s bipolar disorder and incapacity to perform challenging but fun tasks that could liberate him.

Bruce is both alarming and endearing. A manchild who doesn’t mince words, neither about his interests nor his personality disorder. He admits he is “mental” just like his godmother. He openly announces that he met his friend Christian in a gay bar. He speaks about being ostracized for being deaf, even if it causes him to tear up on camera. He is brazen and real, and doesn’t pretend to be someone he’s not. Sadly, society rarely praises someone with Bruce’s guts.

Christian too, has been left on the fringes of society by people who lack understanding about his condition. Somewhere along the way, these two oddballs found each other. Their friendship isn’t perfect, but it is warm and amusing on camera. Like many people in a younger age bracket, these old coots enjoy a good glass of wine and a joint, and make wisecracks about living their unhappy life together with no offspring. Bruce is a weird little old man, and the filmmaker’s annoyance is amusingly apparent in one particular scene. Mild-mannered Christian is likely one of the rare few who can put up with his odd behavior. Or maybe there’s a limit to everything.

Qu’Importe La Gravité is poignant and telling of people dealing with mental illness. Sometimes a physical handicap such as Christian’s is easier to overcome than emotional turmoil.

 

Screenings:

November 12th, 2017, 8:30 pm
Cineplex Odeon Quartier Latin
with English subtitles

November 15th, 8:30 pm
Cinema du Parc
with English subtitles

Director or crew member in attendance

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