No longer able to trust in the claims of institutional religion or of a political utopia, disillusioned with the promises of economic stability, Quebeckers are facing a loss of meaning and a profound sense of emptiness. We’re richer than ever, freer than ever to live our dreams, but something is still missing. Everyone feels it.
L’Heureux Naufrage is an insightful and poignant documentary film which penetrates the questions of the meaning of life and collective values. Through the perspectives of more than thirty well-known public figures, from both Quebec and France, the film reflects upon these essential questions, questions that have not yet been explored in this manner in Quebec. Denys Arcand, Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt, Denise Bombardier, Pierre Maisonneuve, and many others share their personal reflections on their own sense of emptiness, on their search for meaning, on spirituality, on God.
Now that Quebeckers have renounced all forms of faith, could it be that we are currently witnessing a “return to fundamentals,” “a spiritual renewal,” as Stéphane Laporte claims? Could it be, as Alain Crevier suggests, that we are “reappropriating the word ‘faith’”? This film responds to the futility and frivolity of an efficient “one-size-fits-all” society based on instant gratification by questioning the foundations of our values and beliefs. It finds the words to express the existential questions that haunt us all and it proposes that we make peace with our spiritual heritage. Visions and perspectives of the spiritual void in our postmodern society are woven from these remarkable encounters.
“There is always a strong reaction when I show extracts of interviews from the film. It provokes silence, smiles, calm. It shows me that L’Heureux Naufrage is extremely pertinent. It is a universal film that touches Quebeckers of all generations. It is a return towards the essential – a catalyst for both personal and collective introspection. I think the timing has never been better for such reflections.” – Guillaume Tremblay, director