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ACTION: THE OCTOBER CRISIS OF 1970

Canada, 1973 (MIFF 1976)

Director: Robin Spry

A long and thoughtful look at those desperate days of October 1970, when Quebec Liberation Front (FLQ) terror gripped the streets of Montreal and it seemed that Quebec's search for independence and the security of its language might end in insurrection and repression. Filmed by NFB crews during the events themselves, and supplemented by news and other actuality films, this screen story of the October Crisis shows that, beyond the immediate threat of the FLQ bombings, the kidnapping of James Cross and Pierre Laporte, and finally the murder of the Quebec cabinet minister, there were more widespread resentments that had been a long time in growing.

This film puts the October Crisis in the long perspective of history. What happened in 1970 is seen here as the threatening crest of a wave that had been gathering strength through the years. When, in October 1970, it seemed that the long-smouldering resentments would take fire from the FLQ provocation, the Canadian army came to Montreal and some civil liberties were suspended - an action that brought mingled relief, dismay, defiance. The film shows, too, how government leaders - Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau, Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa, and Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau - explained the military intervention.

Silver Plaque, Chicago

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