Guidelines is the second in Jean-Francois Caissy's series of five documentary features exploring distinct stages of life, from old age, to the teenage years, to young adulthood, and to early childhood. (La Belle visite [Journey's End, 2009], which focused on old age, was the first in the series.) Guidelines uses long, observational takes to record teens attending a rural Quebec secondary school. Daily activities on school grounds—studying, practicing cheerleading moves, riding bikes in gym—are contrasted with their “external” activities at play in the vast Canadian landscape—burning rubber on back roads, climbing and diving off of bridges over streams in summer, snowmobiling through the snowy woods in the winter. The film respectfully records both authority figures and the teens while school counsellors respond to students' various misdemeanours, from disturbing other class members or hitting a sibling to bullying and more. The teens’ social discomfort dissolves beyond the walls of the institutional atmosphere, and their nervous energy is absorbed by the great outdoors.
Organized by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film.