Sainte-Cécile (Series Review)

I find it strange that someone actually managed to make a series of short films when the majority of Travelling is usually one shots. This series takes place in the French-Canadian city of Sainte-Cécile, where different people all have a story.

Chantal – Chantal’s (Daniela Akerblom) story focuses on part of her experience as a waitress in a cafe. She tells the story of a late night customer named Michael, referred to as Mick (Jonathan Leblanc). He and Chantal often had a secret desire for each other.

Dany – A wrestler (Christian Laflamme) who has bad memories of losing in a match and has to find a way to move on. Dany is often alone in the gym and works out alone. He stays motivated, and continues his fight even if he lost many years ago. His motto is don’t ever stop.

Pat – Pat (Fannie Thibeault) talks about how she once ran away from home and hitched a ride in a Volkswagen. After losing her boyfriend, she didn’t have enough money to get by and had to find a new place to live in.

Lou – It appears that Pat isn’t the only girl in this town who wanted to get away from it all, local school girl Lou (Gwendoline Cote) feels the same way. Every day she runs after the town’s birds, escaping reality. Oh wait, dramatic change of tone. There’s another reason she joins the birds.

Serge – A retired man (Francois Gagne) who lives on his own and impersonates Madonna, and has to deal with living below a wrestling duo who pull off moves I’d expect from Strong Bad. He seems to explain Sainte-Cécile better than anyone else in the series though.

There are  interesting moments in each short film of the series. The first two aren’t super surreal, often feeling rather realistic, but then the strange visuals of Pat kind of threw me off, and made me slightly dizzy. Lou’s story about escaping everything is careful and innocent, while Serge seems to explain the town, saying everyone has their own stories they never really bring up with each other. Each story was well made, the cinematography was intense and full of detail, and it almost felt like these were real.

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