LILIES (1996) [Feature]

Canada (MIFF 1997 , International)
Director: John Greyson

1952, and Bilodeau (Marcel Sabourni), a Catholic Bishop arrives at a Quebec jail to hear a prisoner's confession. But when he meets the prisoner, Simon (Aubert Pallascio), a man he knew 40 years ago, it seems that it's not Simon's confession he's to hear. From the discomfort of the confessional, unable to get away, Bilodeau is forced to watch a re-enactment of the events that led to Simon's arrest back in 1912 - events that involve jealousy, revenge, and the love that dare not speak its name.

With layers of theatricality and sexuality, where plays are within plays, men perform as women, and desire is barely kept in check, Lilies centres around three good-looking young students; Simon (Jason Cadieux). Bilodeau (Matthew Fergu­son) and Vallier (Danny Cilmore). Vallier loves Simon and is not afraid to know it; Simon loves Vallier, but thinks he shouldn't; and Bilodeau adores Simon, but can't admit it, so denounces it instead. The tangled connection to the present and the prison is unravelled and revealed as the play, and the film progress. Combining the atmos­phere of Maurice and Another Country with the work of Jean Genet, Lilies presents a stylised, involving story with mannered but effective dialogue and a real sense of sorrow, regret and guilt.

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