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The Necessities of Life

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Original title
Ce qu'il faut pour vivre (The Necessities of Life)
Running time
102 min.
Canada Canada
Bernard Émond
Robert M. Lepage
Michel La Veaux
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Association Coopérative des Productions Audio-Visuelles (ACPAV)
Drama | Disease. 1950s
Synopsis / Plot
Set in the 1950s, The Necessities of Life recalls a time when tuberculosis was still an epidemic and a serious problem for many underserved communities. As the disease spread, many Inuit were forced to leave their homes in search of treatment elsewhere. As the film begins, Tivii (Natar Ungalaaq, "Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner") is brought to a sanatorium in Quebec City, where he is told he has to leave his family behind and face treatment alone. Suddenly he finds himself removed from everything he knows, surrounded by a language he does not speak, and facing a future that is uncertain. Luckily, he has a nurse, Carole (Éveline Gélinas) who is kind and nurturing, and who wants to see Tivii thrive. This film was the official Canadian submission for the Academy Award(R) for Best Foreign Language Film.
2008: Montréal World Film Festival: Special Grand Prize of the Jury
Critics' reviews
  • "A model of delicate emotional restraint, the handsome pic earns its many lump-in-throat moments. Likely fest kudos should spur offshore tube sales and hopefully some arthouse placements."
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