February 26th, 2012

Dazibao in residence at the
Cinémathèque québécoise


Épopée – L’État des lieux
Under the direction of Rodrigue Jean

Fernand-Seguin Theatre, Cinémathèque québécoise
335 De Maisonneuve East, Montreal QC
Free admission


Launch of the Rodrigue Jean cycle on January 12 at 5:30 pm and closing night debate on February 4, presented in collaboration with the Cinémathèque québécoise and in the presence of the collective members.

There exists in Montreal a district bounded by the streets St. Denis, De Lorimier, Viger and Sherbrooke, a kind of epicentre of prostitution, drugs, homelessness and every activity tied up with these. This is where Épopée is rooted. A staggering group project initiated by the filmmaker Rodrigue Jean, Épopée consists of a series of short films written and made in collaboration with drug addicts and sex trade workers.

This idea was born during the shooting of the film Men for Sale (2008), whose participants expressed the desire to create fictional work in addition to the documentary film. Made up of stories, the Fictions and Trajets [traces], Épopée claims for cinema—the writing, shooting, editing and distribution of films—the status of gesture and instrument of freedom and community, an open call for an existential radicalism. In these short films the boundaries commonly used to distinguish between documentary and fiction cease to exist; the two genres merge to yield a raw on-screen truth that doesn’t beat around the bush but whose symbolic power gives meaning to the individual events they relate. Épopée does not offer a portrait of its protagonists, be they fictive or real. The films provide us instead with a picture of our society, its structure and the way it works, too often impossible to grasp and ruled by exclusion. Here the anonymity of the collective is a statement, even a subversion; it is far from an evasion and in no way the consequence of a refusal to assume responsibility for what is being said. Anonymity in this case is a poetic and political gesture of resistance.

Through the writing and acting of the films, the members of Épopée, the subjects of these Traces and Fictions appropriate their own stories. By speaking they are engaging in action. In so doing, they overturn the authority to which any subject usually submits.

All episodes can be viewed on the Internet as they are completed at www.epopee.me.

The Épopée collective:
Rodrigue Jean has for several years been conducting filmmaking workshops with the organisation RÉZO in the Centre-Sud neighbourhood of Montreal. Since 2009, the Épopée group has been made up of people who work in film and fifteen men who frequent the organisation :Yvon Aucoin, Mathieu Bouchard-Malo, Dany Boudreault, Cyril Bourseaux, Marie-Josée Brisson, Danny Brown, Sophie Cadieux, Hubert Caron-Guay, Robert Carrier, Cébastien, Louis-Pierre Chouinard, Laurent Comeau, Nicolas Comeau, Marie-Hélène Delorme, Daniel Duhamel, Nalissa B. Gagnon, Rodrigue Jean, John-John, Ron Ladd, Mathieu Laverdière, Patrick Lavergne, Alex Leduc, Véronique Levasseur, Mélody, Gaétan Nadeau, Papy, Paul, Ariane Pétel-Despots, Richard, Guyaume Robitaille, Étienne Roussy, Marc Thériault, François Tremblay

To coincide with this exhibition the Cinémathèque québecoise is presenting a retrospective of the films of Rodrigue Jean from January 13 to February 4, 2012: 

La mémoire de l’eau

La voix des rivières

L’extrême frontière

Full Blast

Hommes à louer


Lost Song


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