Bernard Émond was born in Montréal in 1951. A trained anthropologist, he lived in the Canadian Arctic
for a few years, where he worked for Inuit television. Initially a documentary filmmaker, he came to drama
with a bittersweet feature film, La femme qui boit. Invited to participate in the Semaine Internationale de la
Critique at the Festival de Cannes in 2001, this film raised critical acclaim in Québec and led to a number
of awards for its lead actor, Élise Guilbault. Émond's second feature, 20h17 rue Darling, was also
selected for the Semaine, and enabled Luc Picard to win for best acting at the Festival International du
Film Francophone de Namur. In 2005, Émond again worked with Guilbault for his film, La Neuvaine,
named best Québec feature for 2005 by the Association Québécoise des Critiques de Cinéma (AQCC).
This film also won three awards at the prestigious Festival Internazionale del Film in Locarno, including
the Ecumenical Jury prize, and was also selected by about thirty other international festivals.
All Bernard Émond's films are infused with his characteristic themes: human dignity and fragility, and the
loss of cultural reference points. His documentary Le temps et le lieu (2000) is about the disappearance of
traditional Québécois farming culture; L'épreuve du feu (1997) deals with the suffering of fire victims who
have lost everything, and won the AQCC award for best mediumlength documentary. In La terre des
autres (1995), Émond establishes a parallel between the Palestinian situation and that of Canada's First
Nations. He also made L'instant et la patience (1994), shot in the eldercare residence where his mother
died, and Ceux qui ont le pas léger meurent sans laisser de traces (1992), an hommage to an unknown
man who died in a workingclass district of Montréal; this film received the AQCC's Prix AndréLeroux for
best mediumlength documentary.
In 2005, the Cinémathèque Québécoise produced a Bernard Émond retrospective. In the fall of 2006,
Émond shot Contre toute espérance, the second of the trilogy on the three theological virtues faith, hope
and charity that began with La Neuvaine.