120 minutes -Drama
Release date: February 28, 1979
Canadian distributor: Pan-Canadian Film Distributors
Les don debarras is a gothic tale of passion, jealousy and all-embracing love that centres on 13-year-old Manon, her unmarried mother, Michelle, and her mother’s retarded brother, Guy. The rural setting, in the Laurentian Mountains north of Montréal, adds to a general feeling of isolation and bleakness created by a cold, grey, uninviting autumn landscape. The family ekes out a small living by chopping and selling firewood. Manon, best described as precocious, is obsessed with obtaining her mother`s love but Michelle is the focus of several people who all demand her affection. In addition to Manon and Guy, there is Maurice, her policeman boyfriend, and Gaétan, a mechanic and friend of Manon. When Michelle discovers she is pregnant by Maurice, she attempts to share her joy with Manon, but it has the opposite effect. Marion anguishes over the news and then leaves home. When she returns, she sets out purposely to take control of her world. She drives Guy to suicide and then persuades Michelle to cut her ties with Maurice. The isolation is nearly complete as the multi-award-winning film builds toward its startling and inevitable climax. The film was selected as Best Canadian film at the 1980 Genie Awards and also won 7 other Genies.