Filmmakers predict decline of French
Published Saturday, August 24, 2013 7:03PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, August 25, 2013 11:16AM EDT
A pair of filmmakers have painted a bleak portrait of the future of French in Quebec, which they argue will fall into decline and eventually disuse if current practices continue.
The two have recently come out with a provocative film Langue a Terre, which debuts at the Montreal International Film Festival on August 29 and explores the scenario of the decline of French.
“It's a movie about resistance, resistance of the Quebecois to survive 400 years on this continent,” said co-director Michel Breton.
They point to the right to attend university and CEGEP in French and English signage as facilitators of the decline.
“The message is Montreal is bilingual you can live your life in English or French, or both, but this is a very bad signal for Quebec,” said co-director Jean-Pierre Roy.
They point to Quebec’s many new immigrants as a factor in the eventual anglicization of Quebec.
Breton urges a change in laws to prevent non-French students from attending English CEGEP and university.
“They have the freedom of choice to go to CEGEP in English, so 40 percent of them transfer to Dawson or another English CEGEP and then go on to Concordia or McGill,” said Breton.
“That means that all of their friends from their adult, or professional life might be English-speaking and then what do they know about Quebec? Do they know Robert Lepage, Michel Tremblay, or do they know Canadian or American culture?”
Roy said that they tried to allow some anglophone leaders to have their say in the film, although he doesn’t think many viewers will be convinced by their views.
“In the film we’re showing the intensity and strength of the anglo Quebec lobby,” said Roy.
“We show William Johnson, to show how the leaders of anglo Quebec are closed-minded and don’t agree with French Quebec. They are more into bilingual Canada. We went to film Beryl Wasjman from The Suburban, he’s very extreme so in the film we’re showing this face.”