Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves

(Ceux qui font les révolutions à moitié n’ont fait que se creuser un tombeau)
Canada 2016. Dirs: Mathieu Denis, Simon Lavoie. 183 min. DCP

Winner of TIFF’s Best Canadian Feature prize, Those Who Make Revolution… was inspired by directors Denis and Lavoie’s speculations about Quebec’s massive 2012 student demonstrations, and what might have happened had the fervour not dissipated. A study of youth and political dogma, the film, in which four largely middle-class radicals hole up in a dingy bungalow and plot violent revolution, is like an agitprop fire sale, loaded with incendiary rhetoric. Demanding and rigorous, it is somehow, simultaneously, absurdly funny and invigorating. It’s also divisive: some will find the revolutionaries sympathetic; others will be appalled. But few could legitimately disagree that Revolution — with its opening five minutes of black film leader, fake intermission, and stunning tableau scenes — is one of the most indelible and audacious works to emerge from Quebec and Canada in recent memory. — Steve Gravestock, TIFF


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REVIEWS

"A tense, mournful, and profoundly ambivalent portrait of radicalism ... [It] is so tapped into the political moment that it should provoke lively conversations worldwide."

Variety | full review