Item 1 of 4

Available for rent


Quebec, 1995

Production : Les Films de l'Autre





By juxtaposing moments so natural that they seem stolen from the city itself, Aube urbaine recreates the stark reality of a winter morning. Narrative fragments are superimposed over beautiful black-and-white shots and spontaneously delivered so as to form a fresco, rendering the true soul of the city and of its inhabitants. In the twilight, the footsteps of a young woman trampling in the snow; a silhouette emerges from the whiteness of a park; a window-washer and a waitress each go about their business; workers wait for the bus. A young solitary woman observes places and people. On a street corner, she picks up a lost glove. A young man writes a letter in a café. Different voices punctuate the images that in turn carry us elsewhere, to another part of the city, to another story. Sung or murmured in Italian, Farsi, Vietnamese, and French, these voices blend into the magnificent images by Michel Lamothe and Serge Giguère. The visual montage evokes a world off-camera as immense as it is elusive, inhabited by subdued people living modest existences. From each of these subjective impressions-- anecdotes, humorous reflections, dialogues–emanates a singular burst of reality. This ingenious recording of sounds, images, and narratives piece together parts of the story of humanity. In a sober and unadorned manner, the director unveils the romance and tragedy concealed in everyday conversation. She captures the poetry at the heart of the urban landscape and transfigures it.

A word from Tënk

City Dawn explodes the usual narrative of direct cinema, walking a line stretched tautly between the multitude of origins and destinies that jostle each other in small, anodyne mornings. Entangled in the grey-slack of the dawn hours in the month of March, spectres of everyday life slowly leave their trace in an interlacing of anonymous stories that come to form a synthesis that is nothing less than History itself. Jeannine Gagné gives meaning to the great stirring of the small moments that make up the lives of the excluded, of all those breadwinners who get up early to prepare the city for "real business," to come later. The spectator is carried away–like the angel in Wings of Desire–in the reflections, the anguish, the chanting, and the swarming of the forgotten, transfigured in the great kaleidoscopic echo that gives them, for once, both a memory and a voice. In this, the filmmaker adopts a format similar to her first film, Sans faire d’histoire, co-directed with Michel Lamothe, her faithful accomplice. She multiplies the interplay between sound and image, recorded separately, in a virtuosic collage à la Lipsett where image and dialogue editor Louise Dugal and sound designer Claude Beaugrand’s manifold talents can freely express themselves.




Richard Brouillette
Filmmaker, producer, chicken farmer, and accountant




Item 1 of 4
Item 1 of 4

Item 1 of 4