Archipelago (Archipel), dir. Félix Dufour-Laperrière, Canada 2021, 72 min., French / Montaignais with English subtitles
In a Québec both real and imagined, both past and present, you don’t exist becomes a familiar refrain during Félix Dufour-Laperrière’s poetic and political travelogue. Punctuated by a compelling variety of animation techniques, Archipelago brings to life a vibrant imaginary world that acts seamlessly as both a stark contrast to and a playful collaboration with the existing archival imagery and newsreel footage, worked into the structure of a tale rooted in reality.
Shifting from Québec’s complex colonial past to the work of activist Hubert Aquin, Archipelago emerges as a historical testament to and a philosophical treatise on notions of national identity. Together with his team of animators, Dufour-Laperrière redraws his home territory in order to better understand and reimagine the paradoxical realities of a contemporary Québécois.