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Canadian Film Encyclopedia

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Reaction: A Portrait of a Society in Crisis

Year: 1973
Language: English
Format: 16mm Colour
Runtime: 58 min
Director: Robin Spry
Producer: Normand Cloutier, Tom Daly, Robin Spry
Writer: Robin Spry
Cinematographer: Douglas Kiefer
Editor: Joan Henson, Shelagh MacKenzie
Sound: Bernard Bordeleau
Production Company: National Film Board of Canada

Reaction: A Portrait of a Society in Crisis was shot during the October Crisis of 1970, when FLQ terrorists kidnapped British diplomat James Cross and killed Quebec cabinet minister Pierre Laporte. A journalistic tour-de-force photographed during the peak of the crisis, Reaction features people from various English-speaking groups in Quebec expressing their personal reactions. The film reflects the tense discussions of the time, providing a portrait of a minority community under pressure and of power on the defensive.

See also the film’s companion piece, Action: The October Crisis of 1970 (1973).

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