Screening: Louise Archambault's Gabrielle at Ciné

Introduction by UGA Film Studies Professor Richard Neupert

The second feature by Montréal’s Louise Archambault, this inspiring family melodrama about a 22-year old woman with Williams Syndrome actually stars a young woman with Williams Syndrome, Gabrielle Marion-Rivard. As Variety’s review reported, this disability is “a genetic disorder marked by cognitive underdevelopment as well as gregariousness and advanced musical skills.” It also features the popular French Canadian singer Robert Charlebois. Gabrielle swept seven Canadian Jutra Awards and won four Genie awards and was Canada’s official entry for the 2014 Academy Awards. Gabrielle stands as a leading example of the prestigious Québécois cinema today.

Gabrielle is a 22-year-old woman with Williams syndrome, a genetic disorder that often slows cognitive skills while increasing sociability and musical talent. She sings in a Montreal choir with other disabled adults, where she meets and falls in love with the dashingly handsome Martin. The bliss of first love is interrupted, however, by Martin’s interfering mother, who worries that special needs individuals aren’t sufficiently fit for romantic relationships. What emerges in Louise Archambault’s sweet, unassuming and confidently directed film is a portrait of a young woman fighting, in her own way, for acceptance and independence, and for her right to experience life’s highs and lows– with joy, pain, confusion and eventual understanding.
  • Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 7:30 pm