Item 1 of 4

Available for rent


Quebec, 2019

Production : Pedro Pires Films

Programmed by Virginie Dubois



Nomination - Meilleur film documentaire - Gala Québec Cinéma 2020

Mondes parallèles


Ten years after a psychotic episode on the South China Sea flipped his life upside down, Alex, a sensitive, refined, and schizophrenic man is at a crossroads. His grand-mother and confidant, who would like to die with her soul at peace, insists that he tries to find a girlfriend. His encounter with a young psychotic woman gives birth to an ardently passionate relationship, making him slowly drift away from his usual emotional boundaries. While the troubled waters of the South China Sea well up in his mind, he gradually isolates himself, at risk of being swallowed by paranoia’s unfathomable abyss. An intimate odyssey, troubling and sublime.

A word from Tënk

With Alexander the Fool, Pedro Pires delivers a work of great beauty. A master in the lexicon of the 7th art, he once again confirms his full possession of the medium. Here, he puts it to use in the service of the story of Alex, an endearing and engaging character who has learned to live with his schizophrenia on a daily basis, clinically supervised by the little pills prescribed to him by his psychiatrist. A story told with infinite tenderness and carried by sublime images that traverse Alex’s daily life like a caressing hand, a reassuring smile, an embracing whisper.


The filmmaker casts a soft and sensitive gaze upon the troubled mental state that is schizophrenia and those who live with it or are close to it. Everything in his controlled approach is reminiscent of chiseled, fabricated fiction though, strangely, it never falls into the trap of disembodied aestheticism. The care he takes in sculpting his lighting, in fixing his framing, in orchestrating the staging of his sequences reminds us that reality often exceeds fiction and that real people are often bigger, more complex, and more fragile than those imagined in invented stories. It is upon this that all of the success and splendour of this work rests, allowing us to open up rather than to judge, to embrace rather than reject, to understand rather than to ignore.



There are a plethora of films about the pivotal moment when everything changes, about episodes of crisis, about the throes of madness; films about what comes afterwards, that regard the return to as normal a life as possible, are rare. When the person living with a disease on a daily basis becomes extremely lucid and learns to deal with his own vulnerability, with his medication, with his manifold therapies—this moment, too, deserves to be filmed and recognized. With all his talent and humanity, Pedro Pires had the brilliant idea to approach just this.



In closing, it should be noted that "voice hearers" is now the preferred term for people with schizophrenia—an infinitely more poetic expression to account for this mental agitation that may perhaps, in time, make it possible to deter discrimination.




Virginie Dubois
Cinephile, first and foremost
Part-time producer



Item 1 of 4
Item 1 of 4

Item 1 of 4