First Stripes

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    First Stripes

    Premières armes

    Directed by

    Canada

    2018

    106 min

    • French

    Documentary

    The basic Canadian army training for young recruits, male or female, that the film shows us lasts for twelve weeks. Order, cleanliness, and discipline are the basic virtues here, and quite a few of the recruits are in need of some extra lessons. They’re perpetually folding t-shirts, memorising commands and practicing how to march or use their rifles. Jean-François Caissy sees this film as part of a series of documentaries in which he explores the theme of transitions and the stages of life: Having covered graduating from high school (La marche à suivre) and life in a retirement home (La belle visite), he now turns to the voluntary transition from civilian to military life. The young protagonists give varying reasons for their choice of profession, but one stands out: the search for a challenge. The film's stoic, but inquisitive observations give rise to certain questions: How can one reconcile individualism and obedience? Will these young soldiers actually have to go to war? And possibly, what does the correct way to fold a shirt have to do with defending a free society?

    Festivals

    Labels & Line Ups

    Credits

    Screenplay
    Jean-François Caissy
    Cinematography
    Nicolas Canniccioni
    Editing
    Mathieu Bouchard-Malo
    Production
    NFB - THE NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA
    Sales
    NFB - THE NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA
    Jean-François Caissy

    Jean-François Caissy

    Canada

    Jean-François Caissy, born in the village of Saint-Omer on Quebec’s Gaspé peninsula, is an independent filmmaker and visual artist.

    His first feature-length documentary was 2005’s critically acclaimed LA SAISON DES AMOURS. As an artist-in-residence for Les Films de L’Autre, he next directed LA BELLE VISIT (2009), the first of his films to earn him international attention. It had its world premiere at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival, won Best Documentary at the Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie, received best documentary nominations for both the Jutra and Genie awards, and was selected for numerous festivals around the world, including the BFI London Film Festival, Visions du Réel in Switzerland and Hot Docs in Toronto.

    Trained as a photographer, Caissy is also a visual arts practitioner, and has had several gallery showings of his work. In 2006 and 2007, he created videos for the plays Under Construction and Nager en surface, both presented at the Espace Go theatre in Montreal. More recently, his video installation Derby (2011) was shown at the Centre Clark in Montreal and at Galerie Espace F in Matane, Quebec. GUIDELINES (2014), his third documentary feature, will be screened at the 64th Berlinale. It marks his first collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada.

    Selected Filmography