Mourir à tue-tête
(A Scream from Silence)
Format: 16mm Colour
Runtime: 96 min
National Film Board of Canada
This brutal, compelling and angry film tackles the subject of rape. One night, Suzanne (Vincent), a nurse working late at a hospital, is dragged into a truck, beaten, verbally abused and raped by a man (Houde). The experience traumatizes her, affects her relationship with her lover Philippe (Savoie) and eventually leads to her suicide.
The narrative in Mourir à tue-tête is used as the basis for a wider social, cultural and political discussion about rape and violence toward women. In the film, a female filmmaker (Miller) and an editor (Lanctôt) discuss the orientation and presentation of the events on screen as they construct a film about Suzanne that tries to deal with the issues it raises.
Mourir à tue-tête blends actuality footage and staged scenes, and uses techniques of distantiation to argue that rape is a crime of violence and not of sexual passion.
Some women found the rape scene, shot from the point of view of the victim, sensationalist and exploitive despite the analysis of the director and editor. Some men felt that the implication that all men are potential rapists was unfair. Mourir à tue-tête remains, nonetheless, an impressive social document in Poirier's characteristic style.