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A Place that Matters

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Acadia is a changing society at a crossroads. With citizens increasingly feeling abandoned by politicians, do artists have a role to play in society? Rooted firmly in the present while drawing lessons from the past, A Place That Matters follows its subjects as they reimagine life in their community through a series of collective initiatives. 

The documentary takes us to Sainte-Anne-du-Bocage, a neighbourhood of Caraquet, New Brunswick, and home to a once-thriving Youth Club—an abandoned cultural and community space that also belongs to the historical legacy of Acadie’s first architect, Nazaire Dugas. Purchased a few years ago by writer France Daigle, and now undergoing renovation, the hall has become the rallying point for a group of Acadian artists and friends who want to resurrect the original spirit of this place. As Daigle restores the run-down roadside building, musician René Cormier and theatre artist Allain Roy prepare for its grand opening show. Throughout all this, filmmaker Renée Blanchar films the project’s progress while helping to create a community garden. For everyone involved, it’s about staying true to a form of social engagement and resilience.

Drawing on intimate personal stories, the filmmaker gradually sketches a complex shared history. As the story of the fathers intertwines with that of the sons and daughters, we are invited to contemplate the importance of passing on memories, be it through kinship or art. Through their hands-on community-building projects, the artists and citizens in A Place That Matters resolutely open the door to other ways of being together.

2015, 89 min

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