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L' Arrache Coeur

(Heart Break)

Year: 1979
Language: French
Format: 35mm Colour
Runtime: 92 min
Director: Mireille Dansereau
Producer: Robert Ménard
Writer: Mireille Dansereau
Cinematographer: François Protat
Editor: Marcel Pothier
Sound: Henri Blondeau
Music: Alexandre Luigini, François Cousineau
Cast: Louise Marleau, Michel Mondié, Samuel Cholakian, Jacques Létourneau, Dyne Mousso, Anne Létourneau, Françoise Faucher
Production Company: Les Films Cybèle, Les Productions R.S.L.
L’Arrache Coeur, Mireille Dansereau’s fourth feature, is a penetrating character study of a woman coping with her own failed expectations. Céline (Louise Marleau) has an intense, emotionally complex relationship with her mother (Françoise Faucher), which is undermining her ability to communicate with her husband Michel (Michel Mondié) and to parent their son Samuel (Samuel Cholakian). Céline feels she must tear herself away from her mother, and her place as a daughter, in order to grow into her roles as a wife and mother.

Built largely around incidents of daily life, conversations between the main characters and Céline’s discussions with her sister, psychiatrist and doctor, L’Arrache Coeur is a sensitive portrait of a depressed woman trying to exorcize her demons and adapt to her conflicting roles as a woman in modern society. Despite earning three Genie Award nominations and the Best Actress Award at the Montreal World Film Festival (which Marleau shared with The Island’s Graciela Dufau), the film failed to make much of an impact outside Quebec upon its release.

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