Windsor International Film Festival


Laffaire Dumont

Laffaire Dumont


Daniel Grou
Marc-André Grondin, Marilyn Castonguay, Sarianne Cormier, Kathleen Fortin
French with English
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On an evening when Michel Dumont ( Marc-André Grondin, C.R.A.Z.Y.) swears he was playing cards, Danielle Lechasseur ( (Kathleen Fortin, Mars et Avril) claims she was violently sexually assaulted. Out of nowhere, Dumont, a quiet, mullet-rocking delivery man, is accused of rape. Dumont’s already precarious life – crazy ex-wife, crappy job, two kids – gets torn apart. From the get-go, Quebecois director Daniel Grou makes it clear that Dumont is innocent, bewildered and incapable of a violent act. As Danielle Lechasseur describes the wince-inducing details of her assault, Dumont is as horrified as anyone. Yet, through bad legal advice, dodgy eye witnesses and a merciless judge, an accusation without proof turns into a four-year sentence. Dumont goes to jail and we watch the tortured details of years spent fighting legal battles, getting beat up in prison and living separated from his family.

This really awful series of events is based on a true story – and biopics, in some ways, aren’t really movies. If L’affaire Dumont was the brainchild of some depressive writer-director, I would have had a few questions. Why is Michel Dumont portrayed so one-dimensionally? How exactly did Dumont get in this situation? Knowing something like this actually happened, however, I follow along, question the Canadian judicial system’s fairness and pray to the gods that such misfortune never befalls me. It’s like a really rich, detailed archive newspaper article. That said, L’affaire Dumont offers an easy, tightly-paced storytelling style which is helped by inspired cinematography and set design. Camera movement often directs the eye to ingenious details other films might not consider sharing. When Dumont’s wife has to sell some stuff to pay legal bills, for instance, we quietly see that the fancy new microwave he bought her is conspicuously missing from its original perch. Noting details like this, I found L’affaire Dumont a pleasure to watch – however unhappy the story.

Toronto Film Scene


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