By Radina Papukchieva
“We are going to see Boundaries today in a much different context than what I had hoped for,” says an emotional Chloé Robichaud at the premiere of her new feature. “I’m happy that I will see it once more with you tonight and then I can say goodbye to it. And I hope you will find these 3 women as fascinating as I did,” she added, speaking of the story’s strong female leads. The emotion in her voice is palpable.
The story takes place in the fictional country of Besco – a picturesque island nation situated off of Canada’s Atlantic coast. Led by president Danielle Richard (Macha Grenon), Besco finds itself both at the mercy of Canadian investment in order to maintain some economic stability, and trying to preserve its environmental integrity. The film essentially revolves around the negotiations between the island nation and Canada as they discuss the potential exploitation of Besco’s natural resources. At the centre of the conflict/discussion are three women: President Richard, American mediator Emily Price (Emily VanCamp) and junior player Felixe Nasser-Villeray (Nathalie Doummar) accompanying the Canadian delegation to Besco.
While the plot may seem bleak at first sight, the film is more about women and their constant struggle to be taken seriously by the men in their surroundings than it is about international politics (although the two are inevitably and tightly related). Richard gets blamed for Besco’s economic crisis (at a council meeting, a local seafood merchant blames the lack of sales on the President’s personal distaste for fish), while Emily faces a personal struggle with her soon-to-be ex-husband back home who accuses her of being a bad mother in order to advance her career. Meanwhile, Felixe suffers misplaced comments about her good looks from the very coarse Canadian government representative Paul Rivest (Rémy Girard).
With the recent elections in the United States, women now more than ever need to make their voices heard and this is the message that this young filmmaker from Montreal is hoping to convey. Boundaries could not be more perfectly timed. Its relevance may sting, but hopefully it will also mobilize.
February 9, 2017