THE DEMONS (LES DÉMONS)
Growing up in suburban Montreal in the late 1980s, 10-year-old Félix is surrounded by a seemingly loving and stable family, and should be living a carefree existence. But the mysterious grown-up world around him comes into vivid focus when an intense marital fight erupts between his parents, and he starts to overhear stories about missing children in nearby towns. Félix, internalizing these disturbing changes, begins to do things he doesn't yet understand — with scary consequences. From the opening scene, which shows young bodies at a dance set to Bach's St. Matthew Passion, documentary filmmaker Philippe Lesage (in his narrative feature debut) shows a startling ability to create dread and anxiety in the most domestic of situations. With elegant cinematography and music, and a performance of surprising sensitivity and nuance by young Édouard Tremblay-Grenier, THE DEMONS shows the terrors — real and imagined — of growing up. — Sudeep Sharma
Philippe Lesage has directed four feature documentaries, including THE HEART THAT BEATS (2010), which won the Best Canadian Film Award and the Best Up and Coming Director Award at the Montreal International Documentary Festival, as well as a Jutra Award for Best Documentary. His narrative feature THE DEMONS won Best Director at the San Francisco International Film Festival.