Oh right, the films: Marie-Hélène Cousineau discusses Before Tomorrow—her tale of women in the north
Tonight is your last chance to catch the “so fabulously un-Hollywood” Before Tomorrow, the directorial debut of Marie-Hélène Cousineau. We spoke with Cousineau, the film’s co-writer and lead actress, this week about her exploration of feminism and family relationships, and the film’s stunning scenery.
“It was all shot in natural light,” said Cousineau, adding that the sunlight is slightly sharper up in Igloolik, Nunavut, where she has been helping with the development of women’s video since 1991. “I guess I’m a feminist,” she smiled. That’s OK, sometimes we’re reluctant to use the F word, too.
Speaking through a translator of Inuktitut, co-writer Susan Avingaq said women in their community are considered men’s equals, which is different from when she was younger and ambitious women were made to feel ashamed. “Men are more willing to look after the family, and to carry the children, as they say, on their backs, which was never seen before,” said Avingaq.
The film’s main stars are Madeline Piujuq Ivalu and her real-life grandson Paul-Dylan Ivalu, their characters representing knowledge and experience, and openness and curiosity, respectively. With a finger on the pulse of Canadian history and cultural tensions, Cousineau tells a relatable tale set in a region many of us know little about. Makes us want to stand up and sing an ode to the true north, strong and free.—Melita Kuburas