7.2/10
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27 user 49 critic

Polytechnique (2009)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, History | 15 January 2018 (USA)
A dramatization of the Montreal Massacre of 1989 where several female engineering students were murdered by an unstable misogynist.

Director:

Denis Villeneuve

Writers:

Jacques Davidts (scenario and dialogue), Denis Villeneuve (collaboration) | 1 more credit »

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16 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Denis Villeneuve
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Maxim Gaudette ... The Killer
Sébastien Huberdeau ... Jean-François
Karine Vanasse ... Valérie
Martin Watier ... Jean-François (voice)
Evelyne Brochu ... Stéphanie
Johanne-Marie Tremblay Johanne-Marie Tremblay ... Jean-François' Mother
Natalie Hamel-Roy Natalie Hamel-Roy ... Jean-François' Mother (voice) (as Nathalie Hamel-Roy)
Pierre-Yves Cardinal ... Éric
Pierre Leblanc Pierre Leblanc ... Mr. Martineau
Francesca Barcenas Francesca Barcenas ... Injured Student at Copier
Eve Duranceau ... Student with the Ear Injury
Mathieu Ledoux Mathieu Ledoux ... Injured Student
Adam Kosh Adam Kosh ... Killer's Roommate
Larissa Corriveau Larissa Corriveau ... Killer's Neighboor
Manon Lapointe Manon Lapointe ... Killer's Mother
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Storyline

On December 6, 1989, a lone gunman walked into Montréal's École Polytechnique, a post-secondary institution focusing primarily in engineering, and began a shooting massacre. This event and its aftermath are shown from the perspective of three people. The first is the shooter himself, who blamed the problems in his life on who he considered feminists, such as female engineering students, who were his primary targets. This event was the culmination of a seven year plan, which had a self-defined end. The second is female mechanical engineering student Valérie, who earlier that day had an interview for her dream internship, working on an aerospace project. The interview process itself was a disturbing one for her in the stereotypical view by the male interviewer, who did not believe that females could work in the business and still have aspirations to have a family. And the third is Jean-François, Valérie's friend and fellow mechanical engineering student, who was one of the few who did ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

French

Release Date:

15 January 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Politehnika See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was shot in black and white in order to avoid the presence of blood on screen. See more »

Quotes

Valérie: If I have a boy, I'll teach him how to love. If I have a girl, I'll tell her the world is hers.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In addition to the French-Canadian language version, an English language version was also shot (back-to-back). See more »

Connections

Featured in The Hour: Episode #7.83 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

To Build a Home
Written by Patrick Watson
Performed by Patrick Watson and The Cinematic Orchestra
With permission of Secret City Records Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Where does the reality begin and end?
29 February 2012 | by BrakathorSee all my reviews

I'm finding it hard to write an in-depth review about this movie, but of all the mass murder films I have seen, the imperfections of this film seem to make it a very good case in point to comment upon. The thing I most take issue with is how the film makers decided to relate the film to any real life incidents it was based on, by telling the viewer upfront at the opening of the film that it was based on the Montreal massacre, but saying all characters in the film are fictional. The purpose for this is clearly for nothing other than the capitalization upon real life human suffering, otherwise really why would it need to be blatantly stated if the film is a fictional account? When film makers do that, they knowingly attract the interest of people in such events, and moreover they place their film on a pedestal above fiction which tends to endear people towards the film, however this IS fiction and it is difficult to tell where the fiction and biogrqaphy begins and ends.

Adding to this tasteless fact, the film makers decided to make their film in black and white (for whatever official reason). The likely and common reason, is that it bestows a certain respectability and legitimacy to the film, a technique used many times before in action dramas which may otherwise come across as exploitative, for if it were in color like most films, it might have been regarded as "just another made for t.v. movie" which to be honest wouldn't be that unfitting.

As to the content, is the film in itself horrible? Not necessarily, though because the scenes depicted are very matter of fact, and mainly action driven with very little dialogue, not to mention that of all the films involving mass murder I've seen, this film shows probably the greatest amount of actual violence, it may not be intended to shock, but there is very little depth outside of what we instantly know the film pertains to.

"Polytechnique" can very easily be compared to "Elephant" in terms of the feel of the film, though Elephant really did seem to have a purpose and real depth and artistry, whereas this film seemed to be merely showing us events. While Gus Van Sant in "Elephant" badly messed up on chronological timing, there isn't much in "polytechnique" to scrutinize other than the fact that in the 30 or so minute range of time that the shooting takes place, it remains questionable that there would be so many people still simply milling about the institution unaware of what was happening for such a long time, though all things said and done, it is very hard to say exactly how such events would play out in reality.

There was very little buildup, very little contemplation on the event, and since I came away from the film feeling empty, and really asking what the point of the film was, ultimately the film just doesn't have very much to say. What it does, is it merely coldly shows us a horrific event without giving it much of a face other than (The shooter hated feminists... so he killed them.) Again, not a horrible movie, but it doesn't possibly in any way do justice to the actual event that took place, which is really a bit shameful.


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