Les Ordres (Orderers). 1974. Canada. Written and directed by Michel Brault. In English, French; English subtitles. 109 min.
With Hélène Loiselle, Jean Lapointe, Guy Provost. Restored 40 years after its explosive debut at Cannes, Les Ordres is a gripping reenactment of the roundup and imprisonment of ordinary Québécois citizens during the October Crisis of 1970, when Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act and regional authorities imposed virtual martial law in the panicked aftermath of kidnappings by the secessionist Front de libération du Québec (FLQ). Events unfold with startling immediacy in this early example of pseudo-documentary filmmaking—reminiscent of the work of Peter Watkins—as director Michel Brault borrows the handheld camerawork and wild sound of the cinema vérité school to film actors speaking the words of actual participants in the events, culled from extensive interviews. Restored digitally by Éléphant, mémoire du cinéma québécois.