Information posted by Valerie McDonald regarding a new film that is sparking debate!
Gabrielle, the title character of a new film by Louise Archambault, is a 22 year old woman who longs for romance with Martin, a fellow musician in her community choir. But when Martin’s mother catches the two young people half-undressed she forbids them to see each other.
Martin and Gabrielle both have developmental delays and their budding romance sparks debate between their family members and caregivers. Gabrielle’s sister encourages her in her dreams of independence, but their mother thinks Gabrielle is doing just fine living in a group home, working in an office and practicing for a choir performance with Quebec superstar Robert Charlebois. Martin’s mother doesn’t think “people like them” are capable of adult sexual relationships. Gabrielle is determined to live an independent life and pursue a relationship with Martin.
Writer-director Archambault discovered lead actor Gabrielle Marion-Rivard at a real-life performing arts school for people with disabilities, Les Muses: centre des arts de la scène. Many of the students at the Centre play themselves in the film.
The film is a must-see for anyone interested in the everyday lives of young people with disabilities. It raises issues about love and intimacy, fostering independence and the rights of disabled adults to make their own choices. In French with subtitles, the action and lovely music make it accessible for a wide audience.