The grand premiere of Les Fros, the second feature by the Mont Laurier-based director Stéphanie Lanthier, kicks off the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) on November 10.

Produced by DOC Productions and co-produced by the National Film Board of Canada, Les Fros takes us inside the world of Abitibi’s brush cutters. Every year, workers from Romania, Mali, Russia and Albania travel north to swell the ranks of local cutters. For long months, they toil in harsh conditions deep in the boreal forest, creating a warm and brotherly community despite their differences and tensions. This is the tender and tough reality that Stéphanie Lanthier has chosen to share with us by filming the daily lives of these new lumberjacks.

After exploring the world of tree planters in Deux mille fois par jour, Lanthier continues her fascinating exploration of forestry with Les Fros. The title means “the foreigners,” and refers to a song by Richard Desjardins. Filmed after the Bouchard–Taylor Commission released its report, the documentary is also a riveting reflection on the current state of the Quebec identity.

The 13th RIDM runs from November 10 to 21 at the Cinémathèque québécoise, the NFB theatre, Cinéma Parallèle, the Grande Bibliothèque, Concordia University and the Goethe-Institut.


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