Crosscurrents

How film policy developed in Quebec 1960–1983

Reviewed by Henrietta Roi

Posted November 20, 2019

The route to a feature film’s success is long, and in 1960s Quebec the industry as a whole was struggling to survive. Constance Dilley’s book Crosscurrents tracks the growth of the film industry in Quebec and the fight to pass Bill 109, a law to create a viable movie industry in the province.

The legislation was met with direct opposition from the major American film companies, which even threatened a boycott. As Dilley puts it, “policy had never been so exciting.”

While the author approaches the subject from an academic perspective, she uses archival resources and direct testimonials to craft a picture of an industry that has been continually in flux. Dilley has been a member of the film industry since the 1970s, and her various roles with film magazines and associations in Quebec allow her to incorporate anecdotes into this political history.

Framing the struggle for legislation around events like the moon landings and battles over Quebec separatism, Dilley tells the stories of people who called themselves the “coureurs des bois” of Quebec cinema. With her story of culture and politics, Quebec filmmaking is firmly embedded in the history of the province.

Help keep Canada’s stories strong and free

The importance of understanding ourselves by examining our history is an anchoring belief of Canada's History Society. We highlight our nation’s diverse past by telling stories that illuminate the people, places, and events that unite us as Canadians, and by making those stories accessible to everyone through our free online content.

Canada’s History is a registered charity that depends on contributions from readers like you to ensure students and citizens of all ages can continue being inspired and informed by our country’s fascinating stories. Please donate to Canada’s History today. Thank you!

Buy this book from Chapters-Indigo

This article originally appeared in the December 2019-January 2020 of Canada’s History.

Skip social share links

Related to Books