And the Birds Rained Down
Il pleuvait des oiseaux
True North | True North
Living life like a fable, three aging hermits – Tom (Rémy Girard), Charlie (Gilbert Sicotte), and Ted (Kenneth Welsh) – dwell in a Quebec forest and spend their days tending to the cannabis crops owned by a their closest neighbour (Éric Robidoux) when not skinny-dipping. However, their idyll is disrupted by a sudden death in their chosen family and the arrival of two interlopers: a photographer (Eve Landry) with too many questions about a past tragedy and a senior woman (Andrée Lachapelle) with a surplus of secrets.
Louise Archambault’s long-awaited follow-up to Gabrielle (VIFF 13) is another crowd-pleaser anchored by uncompromising integrity and contagious affection for its characters. With this wonderfully rendered complement of players, she thoughtfully explores the rewards found and regrets harboured by those who’ve opted to live off the grid and find another way. Her camera doesn’t obscure how the years have reshaped their bodies, leaving them, much like their humble dwellings, on their last legs. But the abundant warmth and humour that suffuses every scene ensures that mournfulness never finds purchase here. This is a celebration of lives truly lived, be it well or otherwise.