Quebec filmmaker Denys Arcand is back with another big screen offering with the new crime caper, The Fall of The American Empire.
The film comes 33 years after The Decline of the American Empire which was a box office success in Quebec, and English-speaking Canada. It won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, nine Genie Awards, including Best Motion Picture, and was the first Canadian film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It was followed by two sequels, The Barbarian Invasions in 2003 and Days of Darkness in 2007.
The 77-year-old director ended up winning an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 2004 for The Barbarian Invasions.
The Fall of the American Empire was inspired by a 2010 shooting in a Montreal clothing store that killed two people, which at the time police believed to be gang related. The film centres on Pierre-Paul Daoust, played by Alexandre Landry, a man with a PhD in philosophy who works as a courier to pay the bills. During a delivery, Daoust winds up at the scene of a botched armed robbery to find two people dead and bags filled with millions in cash lying on the ground. He is now faced with a real-life ethical dilemma: Should he take the money and run or let the police find everything as is?
I spoke with Denys Arcand and stars Maripier Morin, Remy Gerard and Alexander Landry when the film had its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.
You can watch the video interviews here:
The Fall of The American Empire is now playing in select theaters.