Silver Bear Prize
Berlin Film Fest
Desire and revenge fuel Denis Côté's entrancing tragicomedy about two ex-cons tryingand failingto discover normalcy in the Quebec countryside. Vic + Flo Saw A Bear centers on Victoria and Florence, a same-sex couple seeking refuge in the remote forests of Quebec. Vic (Pierrette Robitaille) a fundamentally decent older woman arrives first, taking up residence with her paralyzed uncle after receiving parole from her life prison sentence. Her troubled younger lover, Flo (Romane Bohringer, Mina Tannenbaum), joins her shortly thereafter, for reasons that only later will become clear. In the meantime, Vic tolerates her unorthodox parole officer (Marc-André Grondin) and strikes up a friendship with an offbeat townie, while the bisexual Flo spends her days at a local bar. Florence's past, however, does catch up to her in what will prove to be a challenging incident that is very obliquely referenced in the film's title, with a flamboyantly surreal flourish.
A filmmaker whose command of the medium has steadily grown throughout his career, Côté delights in defying categories and in films such as Curling and Bestiare, he blurs the boundaries between fiction and documentary, crossing the line from one genre to another. One of the most singular voices to emerge in the last decade, French-Canadian iconoclast Denis Côté inhabits a universe of storytelling all his own.
Directed by Denis Côté, Canada, 2013, 95 mins. In French with English subtitles.Screen International Artforum NewCity Film Chicago Reader