________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 22 . . . . June 27, 2008



Carole Laganière (Director & Writer). Alain Corneau (Les Productions de la Chasse Galerie Producer). Jacques Turgeon (NFB Producer).
Montreal, PQ: National Film Board of Canada, 2005.
72  min., 23 sec., VHS or DVD, $99.95.
Order Number: 153E 9905 183.

Subject Headings:
Country music fans - Quebec (Province).
Country music musicians - Quebec (Province).
Cowboys - Quebec (Province)

Grades 10 and up / Ages 15 and up.

Review by Libby McKeever.

*** /4


I live for the weekends.


Every weekend in the summer, people come from all walks of life to follow the Western Festival Circuit throughout rural Quebec. From early May until October, fans leave their lives in the city and suburbs, don their cowboy hats and Western shirts to join the musicians, cowboy and characters that make this country culture their life.

     Filmmaker Carole Laganière takes viewers into the lives of several people, both fans and performers, to reveal both poignant and funny stories of why Western-style is the life that they prefer. Singers find inspiration to their lyrics though the people they meet, their stories and their faith. One singer commented that the lyrics are quite simple and probably not sophisticated for some city people. But it is clear that with topics such as love, rejection and incest, many find these songs both poignant and healing.

     The circuit becomes family to participants and performers alike. One musician, who plays at the Sunday mass that is held at each festival, is often asked to play at weddings and funerals. Laganière interviews two people who have recently lost their partners. It is clear that they returned to the festival even a few days after the death as they found support with festival goers who have become family to them. From clowns to bull riding, line dancing to bingo, there is something for everyone. Viewers see that each person is welcomed as they are, with their oddities and disabilities, to find acceptance and fulfillment.

     When the season ends, there is an emotional parting. Some retirees live in their motor homes year-round and drive south for the winter. Others go back to their lives in the towns, but all wait and dream of coming back next year.

     Country is both quirky and touching as Carole Laganière reveals a culture of fun, companionship and support through people's love of everything Western. The film is in French with English subtitles. This film may be beneficial for French language, media arts or Canadian cultural students in the Senior Secondary grades.


Libby McKeever is a Library Technician who works at the Whistler Public Library and at Whistler Secondary School in Whistler BC.

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