So Denis Villeneuve, director of the award-winning film Maëlstrom, has directed a new film called Polytechnique. As suggested by the name, the movie is about the Montreal Massacre at Montreal’s École Polytechnique in 1989. Scheduled to be released in Quebec on Friday (and in the rest of Canada later this year), the film is already receiving some mixed reactions.
See the trailer here:
The cast and crew have expressed a need to explore the tragedy in art, while Villeneuve himself focuses on getting the audience “to feel compasion, to feel the emotions that the characters are going through, not be repulsed by the violence and the blood.”
But you can’t make a movie about such a tremendously violent event without violence. The trick is to make a film that explores the violence without exploiting it. So far, test audiences have called the film “highly emotive, not exploitative”. Still, critics are divided on whether the film should have been made. While some echo the actors’ and director’s sentiments that not only the event but the women killed should be memorialized, others feel that even after nearly 20 years, the wounds are still too fresh.
So what do you think? Should the events that took place on December 6, 1989 be dramatized, whether for memorial tribute or artistic catharsis? Do you think either of these even weigh into the making of this film, or is this straight up true crime cinema?