Director Caroline Monnet has a hybrid identity: her mother is Algonquin, and her father is French. In her filmmaking, she explores the emotional voices of female characters who sometimes struggle to adequately communicate their demons or traumas. Colonialism, the lack of understanding of past and current societies, and failed politics have all harmed individuals and fragmented Indigenous cultures.
Caroline Monnet’s short film, Roberta, is her first collaboration with Microclimat Films. The work was initially commissioned by the imagineNATIVE festival and its artistic director Danis Goulet, who then contacted producer Catherine Chagnon. The artistic click between Caroline and Catherine was immediate. After co-producing the collective Embargo, of which Roberta is a part, Catherine invited Caroline to direct Reunion, in which a young woman dies and is reunited at last with her ancestors. This work completes The Seven Last Words, seven short films inspired by a musical composition of Haydn. The latest project of their collaboration is the production of the feature film Bootlegger.
Roberta depicts a housewife torn from her home. Living in the suburbs, she feels isolated and uses drugs and alcohol to cope. In order to adapt and connect with her grandson, she takes amphetamines, a drug that allows her to escape and forget her loneliness. In Bootlegger, Laura and Mani, two women who are diametrically opposed, have significant impact on the future of their community.
A person often builds their identity based on their social role and responsibilities within their community. Losing their community or social role can lead to a feeling of extreme loneliness. Isolation is a problem experienced by many, especially among teens and older adults. For older adults, a sense that they are no longer productive members of society is a major cause of this loneliness; work and routine establish important foundations that can be lost with retirement or home life.