Programmed by Naomie Décarie-Daigneault
Structured as a love letter, this feature film is an impressionistic history of the women of Québec down through the ages: the Indigenous woman, the fille du Roy, the nun, the settler’s wife, the soldier’s wife, and, finally, today’s woman.
A word from Tënk
"We're all part of a small history, but I'm beginning to wonder how small it is."
Historiography has seen the emergence of many currents since the 1970s that have helped to move away from the hegemony (and fantasy) of a history of winners. From social history to the history of emotions and microhistory, minorities or oppressed groups have gradually found a place in the writing of history. Thus, in 2022, this sentence from Anne Claire Poirier's landmark work seems obvious. Who doubts, today, the place of women in the history of our nation's building?
But in 1974, in Quebec, only 33% of women participated in the labour force. First Nations people have been able to vote for barely five years. Abortion was still illegal (Henry Morgentaler was sentenced to 18 months in prison) and the number of women filmmakers could be counted on one hand. Women were still considered second-class citizens, and their representation was either stereotyped or absent.
When Anne Claire Poirier directed *They Called Us ''Les Filles du Roy'', the third film in the series En tant que femmes, which she produced at the NFB, she was breaking new ground. Certainly, her narrator is speaking to a man. Certainly, one would think that every bit of her liberation, she claims for love of him. But the more the film progresses, the more the present fills the interstices of the story, the more we start to dream that she will emancipate herself from this invisible recipient. And when the women start to talk to each other , finally, the chains fall and the story can begin.
Tënk's Artistic Director