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Traitor or Patriot

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Hero or villain? Traitor or patriot? Free-thinker or dupe? Adélard Godbout was premier of Quebec from 1939 to 1944, and during his office he helped lay the groundwork for the Quiet Revolution of the 1950s and 1960s: instituting compulsory education, giving women the vote, creating Hydro-Québec and trying to free the province from domination by the clergy. But instead of being celebrated, he was written out of the history books. Why? While most Quebec nationalists saw participation in the Second World War as subjugation to the British Crown and were opposed to conscription, Premier Adélard Godbout recognized that failure to oppose Hitler was a greater evil than conscription. He threw his support behind the war effort - and earned the scorn of his province's intelligentsia. Forty-five years after Godbout's death, his great-nephew--poet, essayist, novelist and filmmaker Jacques Godbout--launches an investigation into Quebec during the Second World War. A film about the writing of history and our views of the past, Traitor or Patriot asks uneasy questions about history: who is remembered, who is forgotten and why?

2000, 82 min 40 s

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