Benoît Pilon: Dwelling in Québec: A young filmmaker's gaze


In this article, I propose to briefly review Quebecker filmmaker Benoît Pilon's (1962-) career in light of his unique gaze, in which the history of Quebec and the tribulations of daily life are comingled in compelling ways. Although still a young filmmaker, Pilon has already produced many international prize-winning documentaries and fictional feature films. Neither category of his work has, as yet, been thoroughly discussed and critically examined from within a literary and cultural studies frame. This article will explore Pilon's early days dedicated to short films such as the kieslówskien Regards Volés (1993), as well as his consistent background in writing and directing documentaries that question and impose their stories inspired by Quebec's recent history. In each of his works, Pilon revisits times in Quebec history, elaborating on the clash between language, culture, and the vicissitudes of life. Most recently, and by contrast with the proclaimed humanity hailed by his critics, Benoît Pilon proposes the newly released Décharge (2011) as his darkest fictional feature film yet, one that reveals the deepest, most suppressed conflicts of the urban subject in Montreal. This article will conclude with an analysis of this film in both its continuity with and departure from Pilon's past aesthetic.


Modern and Classical Languages

Document Type





Benoît Pilon, Contemporary Quebec Cinema, Décharge, Quebecker Filmmakers

Publication Date


Journal Title

American Review of Canadian Studies