Directed by Magnus Isacsson • 1999 • Canada • 75'
For more than 125 years, meals have been served for a large number of homeless people in the reception centre L‘accueil Bonneau in Montreal, Canada.
A few years ago, a choir of around twenty men was formed from the regular clientele of the centre. Initially, the choir sang and played mainly in the streets and the subway, just to make a little money. Later on, the initiative was noticed by the media and the choir was invited more and more often to perform at special occasions, and they even made a trip to Paris.
Director Magnus Isacsson followed the members of this motley crew with his camera for more than 18 months. He attended concerts, but also registered what happened behind the scenes. The film focusses on the mutual relationships between the singers and their love-hate relationship with founder and choirmaster Pierre. With endless patience and a number of strict rules, he tries to keep ‘his men’ in line. When he establishes a system in which he withholds well-earned money from his choir members, to prevent that they skip rehearsals or immediately spend their salary on beer, a veritable mutiny breaks out. Nevertheless, it is clear that this group of people makes up a heterogeneous community, to who music is vital for their survival.
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