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Mourir à tue-tête

Mourir à tue-tête

(A Scream from Silence)

Year: 1979
Language: French
Format: 16mm Colour
Runtime: 96 min
Director: Anne Poirier
Producer: Jacques Gagné, Anne Poirier
Writer: Marthe Blackburn, Anne Poirier
Cinematographer: Michel Brault
Editor: André Corriveau
Sound: Joseph Champagne
Music: Maurice Blackburn
Cast: Germain Houde, Louise Portal, Christiane Raymond, Monique Miller, Paul Savoie, Julie Vincent, Luce Guilbeault, Jean Masson, Leo Munger, Julie Morand, Murielle Dutil, André Pagé, Micheline Lanctôt
Production Company: National Film Board of Canada

This brutal, compelling and angry film tackles the subject of rape. One night, Suzanne (Vincent), a nurse working late at a hospital, is dragged into a truck, beaten, verbally abused and raped by a man (Houde). The experience traumatizes her, affects her relationship with her lover Philippe (Savoie) and eventually leads to her suicide.

The narrative in Mourir à tue-tête is used as the basis for a wider social, cultural and political discussion about rape and viol­ence toward women. In the film, a female filmmaker (Miller) and an ed­itor (Lanctôt) discuss the orientation and presentation of the events on screen as they construct a film about Suzanne that tries to deal with the issues it raises.

Mourir à tue-tête blends actuality footage and staged scenes, and uses techniques of distan­tiation to argue that rape is a crime of violence and not of sexual pas­sion.

Some women found the rape scene, shot from the point of view of the victim, sensationalist and exploitive despite the analysis of the director and editor. Some men felt that the implication that all men are potential rapists was unfair. Mourir à tue-tête re­mains, nonetheless, an impressive so­cial document in Poirier's characteristic style.