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(Updated April 20)




Nominated for seven Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Actress and Best Motion Picture!

Antigone (revelatory new star Nahéma Ricci) is a bright high school student living in raucous familial closeness with her beloved grandmother Méni (Rashida Oussaada), her brothers Étéocle (Hakim Brahimi) and Polynice (Rawad El-Zein), and hairdresser sister Ismène (Nour Belkhiria). They are residents, though not citizens, having fled to Canada following the murder of Antigone’s parents – an incident described in moving, hazily remembered detail by Antigone to her classmates. One classmate, Haemon (Antoine Desrochers) follows her home afterwards and a tentative romance begins. The idyll is brief.

Poster for the rebellious drama AntigoneOne day, rushing to the defence of his brother, Étéocle is shot dead by police, and Polynice is arrested for assaulting the officer thereafter. As he is no longer a minor, and already has a record of petty crime, Polynice faces deportation. Antigone, convinced he will not be able to cope and aware that her own status as a minor will make her punishment much lighter, enacts a bizarre plan to help her brother can escape custody and flee. But the authorities use underhanded methods – arresting Méni, setting bail beyond their means, dangling the carrot of citizenship — to get Antigone to give Polynice up. She steadfastly refuses and is detained indefinitely, becoming a literal symbol of #resistance as the age of majority creeps closer and the prospect of serious jail time looms.

Sophocles’s Antigone, on which the film is loosely based, is a tragedy. Deraspe’s Antigone is one, too, though subtler, less about loss of life than loss of idealism, as Antigone begins to realize that no one else, no matter how much she loves them, can live up to her own ferociously high standards of loyalty and self-sacrifice. And it’s a testament to Deraspe’s intelligent writing and again to Ricci’s superb, pugnacious yet vulnerable performance that such an internalized, abstract tragedy can be as moving as it is.

– Jessica Kiang, Variety

Choisi pour représenter le Canada dans la course pour l’Oscar du meilleur film international, Antigone arrive enfin sur nos écrans, précédé d’une rumeur très favorable. Ce 4e long métrage de Sophie Deraspe (Les Loups, Les signes vitaux) a brillé dans plusieurs festivals internationaux, dont celui de Toronto, où il a reçu le prix du meilleur long métrage canadien.

Antigone protest stickerDans cette adaptation contemporaine du classique de Sophocle, Antigone (Nahéma Ricci) est une adolescente québécoise qui a quitté son pays d’origine pour fuir la guerre civile quand elle était petite. Elle vit désormais dans un appartement de Montréal avec sa grand-mère, sa sœur et ses deux frères.

Mais son existence est chamboulée le jour où son frère aîné, Étéocle, est victime d’une bavure policière. Arrêté pour avoir bousculé un policier, son autre frère, Polynice, est aussitôt envoyé en prison et menacé d’extradition. Pour venir en aide au seul frère qu’il lui reste, Antigone décide de planifier son évasion et de confronter seule les autorités, par amour pour sa famille.

Sophie Deraspe s’est librement inspirée de l’affaire Fredy Villanueva pour transposer la tragédie de Sophocle dans le Québec d’aujourd’hui. Il en résulte un drame poignant qui aborde avec un réalisme percutant plusieurs sujets brûlants d’actualité (dont l’immigration), tout en soulevant des questions cruciales sur la notion de sacrifice, la loyauté familiale et la désobéissance civile.
Dans la peau d’Antigone, la jeune actrice Nahéma Ricci est une révélation. Elle crève l’écran par son regard perçant, son intensité et son magnétisme. Sa performance magistrale vaut à elle seule le détour. À voir.

– Maxime Demers, Le Journal de Montréal

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