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  • Polytechnique (Version française)
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Polytechnique (Version française)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Maxim Gaudette, Sébastien Huberdeau, Karine Vanasse, Martin Watier, Evelyne Brochu
  • Directors: Denis Villeneuve
  • Writers: Denis Villeneuve, Eric Leca, Jacques Davidts
  • Producers: Karine Vanasse, André Rouleau, Don Carmody, Maxime Rémillard
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • Studio: Alliance Films
  • Release Date: Aug. 25 2009
  • Run Time: 77 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002E01LVG

Product Description

***************BILINGUAL***********Polytechnique est un film québécois réalisé par Denis Villeneuve sorti en 2009. Le film est fondé sur les faits réels de la tuerie de l'École polytechnique de Montréal qui a eu lieu le 6 décembre 1989 au Québec. *************************************************************Polytechnique is a 2009 Canadian film from Quebec written by Jacques Davidts and Denis Villeneuve and directed by Denis Villeneuve. Set in Montreal, Quebec and based on the École Polytechnique massacre (also known as the "Montreal Massacre"), the film documents the events of December 6, 1989, through the eyes of two students who witness a gunman murder fourteen young women. The film was released on February 6, 2009, in Quebec and on March 20 2009, in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. The film was screened at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival on May 17, 2009. During a class a young man enters a classroom with a rifle. He orders the men to leave and the women to stay. They comply after he shoots into the ceiling to show that he is serious. He tells the women that he hates feminists. Although the women deny being feminists; he shoots at them killing some and wounding others. He then moves through corridors, the cafeteria, and another classroom, specifically targeting women. Once finished, he shoots himself with his own weapon. The film jumps back and forth in time several times. It shows male student Jean-François who was ordered to leave the classroom. He does not just flee but he returns to try to stop the killer and/or help the victims. Valérie and Stéphanie, two surviving women, play dead thinking the killer returned, though Stephanie later dies of her injuries. Some time after the massacre Jean-François, feeling guilty for complying with the order to leave the classroom and abandoning the women, commits suicide.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Shahbaz Kh. on Sept. 22 2009
Format: DVD
I usually don't write reviews for sites like amazon, but seeing that this film only had one rating that had nothing to do with the film made me think I had to. This is a beautiful film. If you have seen Maelstrom, you will know Denis Villeneuve's style of filmmaking, although this is really quite different. This film tells the story of two ill-fated individuals who were at the college when the infamous events happened. It conveys a very emotional story with very little dialogue and a beautiful cinematographic black-and-white style. In fact, the lack of colour somehow adds much more to the events transpiring. On a final note, I think it's important to mention that the characters are, for the most part, composites, the killer is never named and the families of the victims gave their approval to the film. In conclusion, I have seen about 20 films in 2009 (I am selective, so there was very little intentional crap) and at the 9 month mark, Polytechnique is still the best 2009 film I've seen.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. C. Whitcomb on July 31 2010
Format: DVD
The École Polytechnique Massacre of 1989 is an event that people still have trouble grappling with. On the one hand, there is the motivations of the shooter, Marc Lepine. He wrote his reasons for his actions in his rambling manifesto. But apart from Lepine's supposed political motivations, it is difficult to understand the incident. Why was Lepine allowed to get as far as he did? Why did the male students not help the female victims? And was the Massacre just a larger demonstration of the violence (explicit and implied) that happens to women every day? The movie Polytechnique doesn't try to explain and point fingers in this terrible drama. All it presents is as best a representation as possible of what happened. Presenting the movie in black and white makes the movie more effective and beautiful to watch. In moments of such terror, everything become hyper-real. Black and White allows for that hyperreality to exist: every shadow, highlighted edge, actor's performance, and displayed emotion strikes that much more powerfully. The performances are excellent through, and the ending strikes a hopeful chord. This is a movie everyone must see.
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By Robacc on Feb. 20 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
great informative film
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angela Bouman on Jan. 28 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This movie was done so well!!
It's a horrible thing that this and so many others like it happen.
Movies like this help us see what a cruel world we live in.
It helps us see how lucky we are to be alive.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Amazing, respectful movie based on a real tragedy June 15 2014
By Eileen Arnold - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I remember all too well the tragedy in Canada; l was horrified that a fellow classmate would want to kill others in a hard science environment simply based on being female.

The movie captured the setup well by using flashbacks; the scenes with the killer were as creepy and believable as a standard "major motion picture" villain, which made the banality of evil in this mass murder even more terrifying. The small scene where one of the female characters is hit with an inappropriate (and actionable) gender-biased question on an interview for an internship, showing that sexism was still openly pervasive in the workplace in the 1980's - back-to-back with a scene where the killer describes all of the "advantages" women have over men - was especially ironic and disturbing.

Writing, acting, directing...all were fantastic, for a film covering such a difficult subject. One of the best films I've ever seen in this genre. Watch it - it is well worth the time, given how many school shootings now occur.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Evelyne Brochu is the best June 4 2014
By Deborah S. Rillon - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Evelyne Brochu - While her role is subtle, and words few, it is her ability to use her eyes and expressions to convey the characters feelings. She is such a pro at this! This shooting was in 1989 before it seem to become a weekly occurrence all over this planet. So sad.
Realism that made my heart pound. July 29 2014
By 1farstar - Published on Amazon.com
Viewers know this is based on a true story about a shooter in a college. We've all read about these terrible events, but as the film begins we know we're going to be a spectator to it happening.

Perhaps we want to see, because we could very well be confronted with this terror in a shopping mall, restaurant or any public place and we want to imagine that we might survive, as some did in this movie, by doing the smallest of things that mean the difference between life and death.

Excellent cinematography, acting and directing. Truly a "must see".
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A True "War on Women" March 13 2015
By California Dreaming - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
During the 2012 presidential election, the Left used tactics that I thought were beyond dirty pool: the assertion of the Right's so-called "War on Women." Naturally, this would be at least an implied and unfair ad hominem (not to mention severe overgeneralization), one that everyone should have rejected due to these logic issues alone. But when it comes to love and war -- politics IS war, by the way, and don't forget it -- there are no rules, and so while the Right surely wasn't appreciative of the slam, I suppose that the Left wasn't completely stupid by using this tactic. After all, it seemed to work. The end does not justify the means, however, and it didn't in this case.

Of course, women's rights -- or lack, thereof -- have been discussed for far longer than just the last election, and I can see women's point, even if I am a man. But I will assert that things have been carried too far; I'm all for women wanting equal rights, but with equal rights come equal responsibilities. I have seen many women who seem to want it "both ways," and many that want to have it better than men. That's when I cry, "Foul."

And in this sense, I can also see the point of the antagonist portrayed in this film, but only to a point. In a short segment early in the first act, he recites his manifesto (but only to the audience) which describes why he hates feminists and why they must die. His position reminds me a bit of the one taken by Ted Kaczynski, in the sense that, while Mr. Kaczynski is beyond intelligent -- he is still alive in prison with an IQ over 170 -- he rationalized bad behavior that derived from that "logic," which is always problematic. It is ironic that Mr. Kaczynski used technology to counter the technology that he supposedly hated, which of course was a huge contradiction. Here, the antagonist at least rationalizes bad behavior, but while using some valid reasoning behind it. There are valid arguments, and there are sound arguments as well; but for an argument to have true merit, it must meet both. It is the case that, if a valid argument arrives at an invalid conclusion, at least one premise must be faulty. The antagonist surely failed somewhere along the line.

I didn't know much about this story before watching, and I have no idea how close it follows real events. It is interesting though that this transpired almost exactly 10 years before Columbine. If this is true, why was the "Columbine Massacre" so heavily covered, while this didn't seem to get even a blip in the US media? Sure, it was in Canada, and sure, most US citizens don't seem to care much about news outside of their own borders. But if this film is to be believed, I think that more people may have died in this incident than Columbine.

One reviewer on this site complained about this being filmed in black and white. I disagree. In particular, the outdoor scenes when it is snowing are quite beautiful. Also, seeing blood only in black seems to be more powerful. This film doesn't have an overabundance of dialog, and I liked that a lot; instead, the audience is required to feel how the actors feel mostly through movement and expression. Furthermore, I actually really liked how some scenes were repeated at different points during the film, but seen through different actors' eyes, as then you are able to feel what's happening from different actors' perspectives. I can't recall a film offhand that has used this technique before, and it was quite a brave and smart choice, since initially I will admit I was somewhat confused. But not for long.

Well, even though the Left used the "War on Women" to their advantage during the last election, I think that they trivialized the subject in reality, making it difficult for those later that have a valid complaint. If you want to see a true "War on Women," watch "Polytechnique" instead. You might gain a better perspective -- or better yet, perspectives -- on what really might be going on.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Well done film worth watching! March 27 2015
By Mary Ann Willoughby - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Well made film although very disturbing subject. The black and white works perfectly with this movie. Cinematography ie superb.


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