Paroles et liberté

Paroles et liberté

Political figure, writer, journalist, comedian… Pierre Bourgault is all of these combined. But he also was an unwavering voice and actor in contemporary Quebec’s social and political history; a Quebec who, in the last fifty years, has managed to progressively impose its roots, culture, and its francophone identity.


The documentary Paroles et Liberté is the biography of Pierre Bourgault, writer and political man. Manuel Foglia, director of this 82 minute movie, wished that this tale be above all “ Bourgault by Bourgault […] Bourgault it’s also the discourse and the words. […] It is these words carried by his captivating voice that I wanted to be heard.”


A challenged overcome, notably due to the exclusive interviews, enriched by numerous archives where the man, loquacious as always, talks about himself. But it is also thanks to the participation of his close ones who poignantly evoke the influence Bourgault has had on their lives. Pierre Bourgault unveils himself through his own compositions as well, some which are read by participants in the documentary, such as his childhood friend Jacques Godbout (filmmaker and writer), or even one of his old students Guy A. Lepage (comedian and animator). Moreover, recent images illustrate just how closely Pierre Bourgault’s journey resembles that of the country’s history.


The narrative of Paroles et Liberté is chronologically structured, according to specific events which shaped Pierre Bourgault’s life:

1934-1953: Childhood, High School and Army

1953-1960: Post studies and pre RIN (Assembly for National Independence)

1960-1973: RIN-PQ

1973-1976: Drought and misery

1976-1989: Teaching at UQAM and conferences

1989-2003: Simple pleasures, communication, death.


A few years prior to his death, Pierre Bourgault was fixated on the idea of doing his own-filmed biography. Therefore, with the help of his friend Franco Nuovo, he pitched the idea to Julie Snyder and Jean Lamoureux, who received him with much enthusiasm. A first few interviews were then set up throughout the year 2000. A first shooting is initiated and a couple components carried out. Unfortunately, Pierre Bourgault’s death (2003) will temporarily put this project to a halt.


It is finally in 2005 that Manuel Foglia will regenerate, at the demand of Productions J, new research on Pierre Bourgault that will lead to the completion of this documentary.



Paroles et Liberté has benefited from an exceptional first viewing for the occasion of the Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal last November. It was also diffused on December 12th, 13th and 15th, 2007 on the Télé-Québec network. The motion picture Paroles et Liberté was also part of the official selection for the 26th edition of the Rendez-vous du Cinéma Québécois.

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