Canada, 2009, 96 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: Quebec
Language: French English Sub-Titles
35mm Presentation - Dr. Yves Rainville has been serving the community of Normétal in the Abitibi region of Quebec for forty years, and has seen it go from a thriving mining town to a nearly empty dot on the map. Increasingly ill himself, Yves advertises for a temporary replacement, hoping to find his successor. Dr. Jeanne Dion answers his ad and makes the trip from the city to the country looking for a more personal medical practice than her current position in a busy emergency room. She soon discovers that while there may be fewer patients in Normétal, they require a deeper commitment, from the sixteen-year-old girl seeking an abortion to the wealthy and secluded businessman who uses his helicopter to fly Jeanne in for check-ups. Yves offers advice as he prepares his last gift to the community he has healed for so long.
Inspired partially by Émond's own love for the picturesque region, as well as legendary filmmaker Gilles Groulx's documentary on the town (simply titled Normétal), La Donation is a remembrance of a more pristine past, when small towns thrived on money from natural resources, and doctors made house calls. Émond urges that connections be remade between people and place, and more urgently between each other, in order for us to recognize once again the beauty and shared bond of existence. A movie very much about a Canada and Quebec long left to black-and-white documentaries, La Donation proposes that these times are not lost but simply misplaced in the rush toward “progress” and urbanization; for them to come back, we need only to pause, look and embrace our surroundings. La Donation is a movie that moves the soul, and in doing so, may move us to return to a more human age.
DIRECTOR: Bernard Emond
Producer: Bernadette Payeur
Editor: Louise Côté
Screenwriter: Bernard Émond
Principal Cast: Élise Guilbault, Jacques Godin, Eric Hoziel, Françoise Graton, Angele Coutu, Monique Gosselin