2012 / Through the Heart

by Rodrigue Jean & Arnaud Valade
One of the most tumultuous years in Quebec’s history, 2012 saw the mobilization of students and others against neoliberalism and police brutality
2022  ·  1h17m  ·  Canada
English subs
About the Film

2012/ Through the Heart draws us into the intensity of the 2012 Quebec student strike protests and riots. While we are confronted with the brutality of the police, the film reminds us of the power of this historic event which shook up the political and media world in Quebec. Artist Safia Nolin lends her voice to reflect on what remains, ten years later, of this dazzling spring.

An account of the spectacle and the brutal suppression of the 2012 student movement in Quebec which saw nearly half of the university student population strike in protest of rising tuition costs, resulting in the passing of an emergency law that prohibited protests near university property—or anywhere in Québec—without explicit permission from police.

This is the context for 2012/Through The Heart, which frames the events of 2012 as one more fight in the ongoing struggle against entrenched colonialism and state oppression. Weaving together amateur and professional footage from three distinct demonstrations, directors Jean and Valade capture the protest’s chaos, and reveal the arrogance of government officials, brutal police violence and the manipulation of mass media.

Upcoming Screenings

Stay tuned for upcoming screenings!

Rodrigue Jean
Arnaud Valade
Editing advisor
Omar ElHamy
Jacob Desjardins
Sound editing
Mathieu Beaudin
Bruno Bélanger
Marianne Lévesque
About the Director

Rodrigue Jean

Dance, theatre, film: director, scriptwriter and producer Rodrigue Jean has been active on numerous creative fronts. After studies in biology, sociology and literature, he worked as a choreographer before making his first short film, La Déroute, in 1989. He followed this up with the documentary La voix des rivières, which took the Telefilm Canada Award for Best Medium-length Canadian Film at the FICFA, and the short film La mémoire de l’eau, a prizewinner at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax.
Two popular and critically acclaimed dramatic features came next: Full Blast (Special Jury Citation, TIFF, 1999), and Yellowknife (critics’ choice for Best Québec Film of 2002). The documentary Living on the Edge (2005) paid tribute to his Acadian roots, focusing on the poetry of Gérald Leblanc. His 2007 documentary Men for Sale looked at male prostitution in Montréal.
Lost Song, his third feature-length fiction, garnered Jean the award for Best Canadian Feature at the 2008 TIFF.
Following Men for Sale, Jean launched Épopée, a group that for over five years now has used cinema as an instrument of freedom and community. Projects to date include the feature-length films The State of the Moment, The State of the World and Insurgence as well as the website epopee.me. His most recent feature-length film, Love in the Time of Civil War (2014), resulted from Épopée’s writing workshops with sex-trade workers.

Other films by Rodrigue Jean

Arnaud Valade

Arnaud Valade completed his studies at the School of Cinema and Video Trades in Rivière-du-Loup in 2019, then released his first short film, “Everything is Number 1 in the East,” in 2021. In 2022, he edited and co-directed the feature film “2010/In the Heart,” currently in post-production. Additionally, he is actively working on a documentary feature set to be released in 2023. Otherwise, he spends most of his time listening to and observing birds.