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NEW Barbarian Invasions (DVD)
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Remy (and indelible characterization by Remy Girard) has lived a life of sexual freedom, intellectual pursuits (he is a Professor of History and defender of free thinking), and seems to have placed his family and wife in the periphery. Suddenly faced with a diagnosis of a rampantly aggressive and untreatable cancer, he rages against the world that no longer holds his tenets of civilization dear: he faces his mortality convinved he has no legacy to leave the world he entered. His ex-wife notifies his worldly and wealthy Baby-Boomer generation son in his important office in London to return home, despite the fact that the son sees little point in rushing back to the father who was never a father to him. The son Sebastien (in a sophisticated, engrossing performance by Stephane Rousseau) flies to Montreal and, in his manner of control, takes over, planning the care of this 'shameful father' in a manner that allows him to provide the best amenities while putting more emotional distance from his father.Read more ›
The film centers on Rémy's estranged relationship with his son Sebastian (stand-up comic Stéphane Rousseau) a millionaire London businessman. When Sebastian comes to Montreal with his fiancée (Marina Hands), years of resentment against his father boil to the surface. Rémy apparently was not an exemplary father figure. He cheated on his wife, over indulged himself in hedonistic pleasures, and offered less than the support his children needed. Rémy, a socialist, considers his son a "puritanical capitalist" and one who portends the coming "barbarian" invasions. Sebastian resents Rémy for his womanizing and calls him "contentious". In spite of this resentment, however, he starts throwing money around to try and make his father's final days more comfortable, in a way subtly letting his father know that money can buy anything.
"The Barbarian Invasions" is not a perfect film by any means but is one of the strongest Canadian films. Though some of the dialogue is strained, underneath there is a humanity that allows us to connect with our feelings about our own mortality and our relationships with those we care about.Read more ›
film is about so much more than a relationship with a son, it speaks to the universal struggle of
man facing his own mortality while taking stock of what his ideals and whether he has achieved
anything worth note in his life. The final words from Remy's adult daughter (I won't spoil it) will
break any parent's heart.
It does not surprise me that some reviewers, who are less familiar with French Canada, missed the
important part of the point. French culture within Canada is a huge contributor to our civil
society in general and to our art community specifically. Remy and his friends were not just
mourning his coming death but rather all of the reality that has dampened their dreams from the
cultural, sexual and quiet revolutions of the 60's and 70's.
This film is a celebration of family, friends and in the end dying well.
Just a note for a couple of the right wing reviewers who were salivating over the negative
portrayal of Canadian medicare. I have never been in a Quebec hospital but I certainly have been
in ones in Ontario, and even the humblest was far superior to the one depicted in the film. Most
hospitals in Canada are state of the art facilities. I suspect that the director used a bit of artistic
exaggeration to make his point. It's true that Canadian hospitals are busy, because they serve
100% of the population, there isn't a 20% un-insured under-class here.
This DVD package comes with a 98 minute theatrical version as well as a second disk that is 112
minutes long. The bonus feature (located on the 98 minute disk) is worth the purchase price of
the DVD all on its own.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Probably the best film ever from Quebec. This movie won the foreign movie Oscar for a reason! A must-watch film.Published 1 day ago by Jean-Philippe Bouchard
A very good film about a family dealing with the assisted death of the head of the household. The story takes place in Quebec where assisted death is accepted.Published 6 months ago by Ross Chapman
Director Denys Arcand. Winner of a 2003 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award as well as 2004 Césars for Meilleur Film (Best Feature Film) and Meilleur Réalisateur... Read morePublished 9 months ago by TheSphinx
Tout aussi actuel aujourd'hui qu'à l'époque
Les blagues sont ascerbes comme jadis
En somme, une bonne détente réflective, voir contemplative
This is truly a splendid sequel to the acclaimed, 'Le déclin de l'empire Américain'. Taking us twenty years later as a follow-up to the main characters' development... Read morePublished on June 7 2012 by sam
An intelligent, witty, barbed, but still emotional film about; death,
family, friends, class, intellectuals, hard headed capitalists vs. Read more
I watched the film for a french class and enjoyed it quite a bit. I found watching the film in french with English subtitles a little confusing and i began to wonder if the the... Read morePublished on Nov. 19 2007 by Kris2fur cepensir
Ce film est absolument génial! Le scénario est excellent et les acteurs splendides! A voir!Published on June 4 2005
(For the earlier reviewer, the final song is "L'Amitié" -- friendship -- by Françoise Hardy, who has been recording since the 1960s. Read morePublished on Sept. 30 2004 by Tom Trueman