Films & Schedules

  • C'est pas moi, je le jure!
    It's Not Me, I Swear!

  • Philippe Falardeau

108 minutes

Production Company:
Luc Déry, Kim McCraw
Philippe Falardeau, based on the novels C'est pas moi, je le jure! and Alice court avec René by Bruno Hébert
Production Designer:
Jean-François Campeau
André Turpin
Frédérique Broos
Claude La Haye, Sylvain Bellemare, Bernard Gariépy-Strobl
Patrick Watson
Principal Cast: Suzanne Clément, Daniel Brière, Antoine L'Écuyer, Gabriel Maillé, Catherine Faucher

Canadian Distributor:
Seville Pictures
International Sales Agent:
Films Distribution

Friday September 0504:30PM WINTER GARDEN THEATRE Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Sunday September 0707:45PM VARSITY 4 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Sunday September 0707:45PM VARSITY 5 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Philippe Falardeau established himself as a director to watch with La Moitié gauche du frigo, which won the Claude Jutra Award in 2000 and the Citytv Award for Best Canadian First Feature at the Festival. He fulfilled the promise of that film with the accomplished, much-lauded Congorama, and with his latest, C'est pas moi, je le jure!, he delivers a highly sophisticated, often hysterically funny work that may also be his most accessible to date. Set in 1968, the film focuses on ten-year-old Léon (Antoine L'Écuyer, in an amazing debut), an inveterate hellion whose favourite hobbies include failed suicide attempts, vandalism, theft, running away and breaking and entering.

The cause of Léon's behaviour is fairly obvious. His parents are a truly horrific match, prone to ear-splitting domestic squabbles that begin with smashed plates and conclude with paintings being ripped apart. As their relationship deteriorates, Léon's actions grow increasingly outrageous and self-destructive (a “visit” to a vacationing neighbour's house is particularly memorable), and the situation is only exacerbated by his father's remoteness and his mother's liberal, conspiratorial approach to child-rearing.

C'est pas moi, je le jure! is a touching and amusing meditation on changing mores and family structures. Léon's best friend Lea is being raised by her alcoholic uncle, and may be as troubled a child as he is. Like Léon, she is in search of an absent parent, and the era is not helping their adjustments – a schoolmate tells Léon that divorce is a mortal sin. In many ways a historical and political allegory, the film is a study of abandonment and an elegy for lost political innocence. Falardeau constantly reminds us that the choices the characters make would not be possible today. Léon's mother flees to Greece to start a new life, and Lea informs him that she has opted to live in a dictatorship. In this case, the children are more politically astute than their parents – and seem far more aware that there is a sea change taking place.

Brilliantly acted and executed, C'est pas moi, je le jure! is one of the sharpest and most entertaining films you will see this year.

Steve Gravestock

Philippe Falardeau was born in Hull, Québec, and studied Canadian politics at the University of Ottawa and international relations at Université Laval in Quebec City. His films include the documentary Pâté chinois (97), the short film Jean Laliberté: A Man, His Vision and a Whole Lot of Concrete(01), and the feature films La Moitié gauche du frigo (00), Congorama (06) andC'est pas moi, je le jure!(08).

Cadillac People's Choice Award