Friday, November 5, 2010

Sortie 67 (2010)

Jephté Bastien's Sortie 67 is his first feature film. It's also the first Canadian film ever to deal with the problems of street gangs in the St-Michel and North-Montreal, two poor districts of Montreal. Hopefully, the film doesn't glorify crime.

A dead black mom. A white father (Sylvio Archambault) in prison for the murder of his wife. These are the two reasons that brought Ronald (Henri Prado), a young guy from St-Michel, in thirteen foster families. Because he hates school, Henri gets recruited by a new family: a street gang led by Brooklyn (Benz Antoine). After he had passed Brooklyn's loyalty test, which consisted in killing someone, Henri adopts the nickname of Jecko. As he commits a plethora of crimes, Ronald waits for the day when his father will get out of prison and to kill him. However, because he has a daughter and a wife who's ashamed of him, Ronald contemplates leaving criminality.

Sure, the theme of criminality has been explored a lot of times. Moreover, because Sortie 67's leading character, Jecko, tries to get out, the story is a little bit predictable and similar to other movies cut from the same cloth. Despite not that, Jephté Bastien's first film is nonetheless an important film for Quebec's cinema. Without glorifying the lifestyle of a street gang, the film offers an interesting analysis of how some people become attracted by criminality in St-Michel and North-Montreal, a reality that most of us hopefully never knew. Moreover, with its honest tone, Sortie 67 perspicaciously lambastes that belief shared by a few Montrealers of Haitian heritage that one's blackness is an obstacle to success in life.

Finally, the film's script isn't perfect. However, Sortie 67 relies on solid actors who need to be seen more often in Quebec's films rather than some other countries'.

Rating: 3.5/5


Origin:Canada (2010)
Length:103 minutes
Genre:Drama
Screenplay:Jephté Bastien
Director:Jephté Bastien
Starring:Henri Prado, Benz Antoine and Natacha Noël

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