The QuÉbeCanada Complex (1998)

Canadian Association of Journalists Award for
Best Documentary, 1999

The QuébeCanada Complex is a brave, bold and humourous documentary about the never-ending national neurosis. It is a strange disorder, particularly pathogenic to the contemporary political scene, in which two self-centered patients, Québec and Canada, each deny the distinct existence of 'the other'. The film literally put les deux nations 'on the couch', referring the 'problem' to a panel of real psychiatrists and social psychologists. The psychiatrists analyze the Complex and suggest possible cures. In parallel, the filmmakers take a symbolic couple, on the verge of marriage separation, through the typical stages of a simulated treatment. The film also features individuals who have managed to overcome the destructive intolerance which is the major symptom of the QuébeCanada Complex - Scenes from a Country 'On the Couch.'

Un vieux «problème» d'identité nationale et collective — examiné d'une façon complètement unique. Ni d'actualités déjà vues. Ni des politiques comme d'habitude. Ni de réferenda ad infinitum. Ce documentaire explore la psyché nationale avec beaucoup d'humour, car il s'agit bien d'une exploration de notre inconscient collectif et de la notion névrosée d'un pays. L'échangeur principal d'idées est une rencontre thérapeutique avec une gamme complète de vraies psychiatres et de socio-psychologues. Ces experts appliqueront leur méthodologie de façon allégorique. Autres scènes présentent un couple métaphorique, une analogie du Canada et du Québec, sur le point de se séparer, qui fait l'objet d'un dialogue thérapeutique. La guérison: Plutôt que crispés dans un état de négativité, nous inclurons plusieurs exemples dynamiques d'individus qui se demontrent qu'il est en fait possible que l'on se relève du divan, guéri. Nos personnages ont trouvé des solutions interculturelles et interpersonnelles, c'est-\à-dire des façons de coexister pour des communautés bien différenciées.

Narrative

In the time since the last referendum in Québec, co-directors Patricia Tassinari and Peter Wintonick became increasingly distressed by the widening gap between ordinary people and the politics of division and denial. Such rhetoric coloured the so-called 'unity debate' all across the country, and led to a very neurotic notion of the nation.

The filmmakers felt that the real-life daily experiences, the vital person-to person exchanges which had made living in Québec so enriching and civil, deserved attention.

They felt an urgent need to hear new words, ideas and interpretations which reach beyond politics.

Their investigation leads them to psychologists, therapists and others who shared their desire to literally put Canada and Quebec 'on the couch'. If this film seems insane sometimes, blame it on the QuebeCanada Complex, a kind of identity crisis where two societies are unable to recognize the distinct character of 'the other.'

Clip

Awards

* Canadian Association of Journalists Award for Best Documentary, 1999

Broadcasts & Theatrical Releases

* 1998 (English) CBC Newsworld's 'ROUGH CUTS'
* 1998 émission Grands Reportages de RDI

Credits

Co-director, Concept, Dramatic Script, Picture/Sound Editor: Patricia Vergeylen-Tassinari
Co-director, Co-producer, Treatment, Sound Recordist: Peter Wintonick
Co-producer, Videographer: Francis Miquet
Producers' Assistant: Marlo Miazga
Editors: Marlo Miazga, Peter Wintonick
Additional Sound: Lincoln Mulcahy
Music Mix: Maurice Appelbaum
Technical Consultant: Zsolt Luka
Translator: Jean Miquet

With the participation of:
SODEC Société de développement des entreprises culturelles, Canadian TV and Cable Production Fund — Licence Fee Program, Government of Canada — Canadian Film Production Tax Credit, Government of Québec Tax Credit Program, CFCF-12, and with the collaboration of RDI — le Réseau de l'information
and SRC — la Société Radio-Canada

Produced by:
NECESSSARY ILLUSIONS PRODUCTIONS, INC.
in association with CBC NEWSWORLD

Distribution

Total Running Time: 46:19
Beta cam SP
English and French

All territories, market and media:
Necessary Illusions Productions
24 Mont Royal West
Suite 1008
Montreal, QC
H2T 2S2
Phone: (514) 287 7337
Fax: (514) 287 7620
info@ [at] necessaryillusions [dot] ca