In the 1950s Antoinette GIGUÈRE wrote 120 letters, documenting every aspect of family life like a continuous film, seen through her eyes. Using her letters, Antoinettemins fifteenth child, director Serge GIGUÈRE, explores the joy and heartbreak of rural, Quebecois working life. My Mothermins Letters is the story of a simpler time, but one whose values and struggles still resonate today. Itmins also the story of the relationship we all hold dear in our hearts – that which we have with our mothers.
Serge GIGUÈRE first gained recognition as a cameraman, and in 1984 he formed Les Productions du Rapide-Blanc with Sylvie Van BRABANT. The company produced a number of his films, including Driven by Dreams(2007 Jutra Award winner for best documentary) and King of Drums(winner of a Gemini Award). In 2012, he directed Northern Heartbeat, a moving introduction to the life and work of geographer and linguist Louis-Edmond HAMELIN. My Mother’s Letters is GIGUÈRE’s 14th film.
People say that every family has a story to tell. This film is about a Canadian family. More specifically, it's about a mother who raised 16 children during her married life of 22 years. Among her keepsakes, her 15th son finds 120 letters. She wrote regularly to her eldest son Henri who had left home at the age of 14 to become a monk, detailing the family's everyday life. Through the letters and family portraits, the film reminisces about the past and takes us back to the bygone days. As if putting together a jigsaw puzzle, the film searches for pieces of the past and memories from her children – some are in conflict with one another. Written words and memories can be exaggerated, twisted or altered. The story of a woman named Antoinette and her life as a mother relates to personal accounts as well as the history of Canada, thereby encompassing both a macrohistory and a microhistory(from the mother's story of Pepsi Cola to strikes and unemployment in Canada). Above all, the film explores two decades of theatre, cinema, photography and installation art, which then creates a visual presentation of the past and the present as well as of memory and reality. The director's autobiographical story has been brought to life through an experimental structure that is at once familiar and unique. (LEE Seung Min)