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National Film Board

Silence is Gold

Julien Fréchette / Canada / 2012 / 77 ' / Français / S.T. Anglais


Andrea Henriquez
Julien Fréchette
Nicolas Cannicci, Etienne Boilard & Patrick Antoniewicz
Julien Fréchette
Toby-Will Richardson
Dany Nicolas
Zoé Dumais
Jean-Simon Chartier & Colette Loumède

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Does free speech still exist in the age of the almighty mega-corporation?


What are the limits to freedom of speech? Can we put a price on our spoken and written words? Following the 2008 release of the book Noir Canada, author Alain Deneault, his co-writers and his publisher, Éditions Écosociété, grappled with these questions – at great personal expense – after being sued for defamation in Quebec and Ontario courts by two large Canadian mining companies. Deneault and his publisher fought back, becoming entangled in a seemingly never-ending spiral of judicial proceedings. Silence Is Gold is a thriller of a documentary that tells their story, set against the backdrop of the Canadian justice system. We follow the complex procedural twists and turns, eagerly anticipating a resolution that is repeatedly delayed.

Filmmaker Julien Fréchette’s camera and questions lead us through this little- understood legal territory without judging or wading into the merits of the cases. His gaze is both subtle and attentive as he tactfully immerses himself in the story, initiating a dialogue with Alain Deneault, who becomes the protagonist of the film. Silence Is Gold raises crucial questions about Canada’s role and responsibilities in the global mining sector, the limits of free speech and equitable access to the Canadian justice system.