“White dog” by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette opening Cinemania


Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette's most recent feature, “White Dog”, will be screened at the opening of the 28th edition of the Cinemania Francophone Film Festival, on November 2, at the Imperial Cinema, in Montreal. 

The director, for whom this is the fourth film after “The Goddess of Fireflies”, “Inch'Allah”, and “The Ring”, co-scripted “White Dog” with Valérie Beaugrand-Champagne. The two collaborators adapted the true story of Romain Gary and Jean Seberg, from the book “White Dog” by Romain Gary, published by Gallimard in 1970. Gary recounts his life in California two years earlier, in a country marked by the assassination of Martin Luther King against a background of strong racial tensions. 

The film stars Denis Ménochet, who plays the role of Romain Gary, as well as Kacey Rohl (Jean Seberg), K.C. Collins (Keys) and young Laurent Lemaire (Diego Gary). 

Produced by Nicole Robert, “White Dog” will be released on November 9 in Quebec.  

Here is the synopsis provided by the production: “1968. The United States is on the verge of implosion: Martin Luther King is assassinated and racial hatred sets the country on fire and bloodshed. Romain Gary, who lives in Los Angeles with actress Jean Seberg, takes in a stray dog. The dog, which quickly finds its place in the house, is docile and affectionate with everyone. Everyone except black people. White Dog is a dog specially trained to attack black protesters. For Seberg, very active in the Black Panthers, this racist dog must be put down. For Gary, who sees him as a victim of the racism that contaminates the country, it is rather necessary to save him. He entrusts him to Keys, a black master trainer, in the hope that he will cure his dog of the hatred that the white man has pegged to his body. Inhabited by his own tragedy, Keys will not do his job halfway”. 

“We could not have hoped for better than “White Dog” to start the ball rolling for the next edition of Cinamania: Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette offers a large-scale film, which provokes reflection, launches the debate and once again confirms his talent as a filmmaker deeply turned towards others and the major issues of society. It is an honor for us to continue to follow his work, in the wake of the documentary that we produced and broadcast last year,” Cinemania general manager Guilhem Caillard said in a statement on Tuesday. 

The 28th edition of the Cinemania Francophone Film Festival will be held from November 2 to 13. The organizers will announce the complete program on October 20.