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Just Watch Me: Trudeau and the '70's Generation

(Frenchkiss - La Génération du rêve Trudeau)

Year: 1999
Language: English and French
Format: 35mm Colour
Runtime: 75 min
Director: Catherine Annau
Producer: Gerry Flahive, Yves Bisaillon
Executive Producer: Louise Lore
Cinematographer: Ronald Plante
Editor: Craig Webster
Sound: Tim Smith, Marc Lafontaine, André Boisvert, Chris Jannetta
Music: Rick Tait
Production Company: National Film Board of Canada
This lively, dynamic social documentary traces Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s extraordinary impact on the generation that came of age during the seventies. We meet eight people from across the country – anglophone and francophone, separatist and federalist, idealist and realist – whose personal identities were deeply affected by the nationalist dream inspired and led by Trudeau. While in their teens and early twenties, many participated in government-sponsored cultural immersions to learn the other official language. Friendships and romances blossomed, paving the way for a mutual understanding and appreciation of each other’s cultures. Now in their mid-thirties, they debate the effectiveness of Trudeau’s quest to redefine Canada as a truly bilingual, bicultural country – with the divisive 1995 Quebec referendum serving as a climactic backdrop.

Just Watch Me: Trudeau and the ’70s Generation was generally very well received by critics in both Canada and the United States (though some pointed out the film’s tendency to gloss over the viciously bitter feelings harboured towards Trudeau in Western Canada and much of Quebec) and enjoyed a highly successful broadcast life on television. It was named the Best Canadian First Feature Film at the 1999 Toronto International Film Festival® and won a Genie Award for Feature Length Documentary.