Skip to main content

THE MOONTRAP

Canada, 1964 (MIFF 1966, Programme D)

Director: Pierre Perrault, Michel Brault, Marcel Carrière

There is a place in Canada where the moon is still held to influence the earth and where souls of the dead are thought to help catch white whales. Named L'île-aux-Coudres by Jacques Cartier when he landed there in 1535, this small island in the St. Laurence has hardly been changed by time and retains much of its ancient speech, customs and superstitions. For centuries the inhabitants of the isle trapped the beluga whales, but after 1920 the practice was abandoned. The Moontrap is the un-rehearsed story of what happened when the old-timers were persuaded to show that whales could still be caught by the ancient method.

The absorbing interest of the film is not so much the capture of the whale as the folklore and wisdom that is revealed by the chase: to capture a whale the moon must help, and so must the souls of the departed.

Pierre Perrault and Michel Brault, (the latter was cameraman for Chronicle of a Summer) conceived the film and use the free-swinging, cinéma vérité technique in telling their story.

Film of the Year, Canadian Film Awards.

See also...

The Indian Speaks

The Indians who speak in this film express no injury, no common com­plaint, but reveal some of the dimensions of the general cultural deprivation of Indians. ... It is the consciousness of an ... More »

ORDERS

Michel Brault wrote and directed this film, which is concerned with the abuses experienced in Quebec during the terrorist scare of October 1970. Brault is also responsible for much of the camerawork ... More »

WINTER KEPT US WARM

This film, set at the North American University of Toronto, was made by a young man who had just graduated, and who managed to capture faithfully the feel of life on the campus. The story examines a ... More »

Black Type

Typewritten characters enact a story revolving around "once upon a time" . . . ... More »

Rain and Shine

An impressionistic presentation of Mahabaleshwar, a quiet little hill station, during and after the monsoon rains. ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director