Sophie Deraspe

Canada, 2019 / 109 min / French OV with English subt. / Drama


An incisive new liberal take on the Greek tragedy by Sophocles telling the daring story of one young woman's commitment to her family.

Antigone is an Algerian-born teenager living in Montreal with her immigrant family. A straight-A student and model citizen, her world is shaken when her brother Étéocle is gunned down by police during a brawl in a park. When Polynice, her drug-dealing younger brother, intervenes, he is accused of assaulting a police officer, arrested and threatened with deportation. Against the wishes of her sister Ismène, Antigone comes up with a bold plan to free Polynice that sets her on a collision course with the authorities. Motivated by her own sense of justice, Antigone takes on the judicial and penal systems, as well the father of her boyfriend Hémon, an influential politician. As the consequences of Antigone’s actions begin to spiral out of control, she wins the support of a youth movement that rises up in social networks and colourful demonstrations.

Antigone acutely explores familial sacrifice, the burden of responsibility, and the nature of justice with exceptional depth and nuance. Although inspired by a story 2,500 years old, Sophie Deraspe's film is a timely meditation, one that prompts serious reflection on immigrant life in ostensibly welcoming contemporary Canada.” Toronto International Film Festival


The school screening on 04/03 à 9:00 AM at Cinémathèque has been replaced by a screening on 13/03 at 10:00 AM.

Fri 05/03 09:00 FR OV with EN subt. Scolaire
Sat 13/03 10:00 Cinémathèque FR OV with EN subt. | FREE Public

“Sophocles’ Greek tragedy is provocatively transposed to 21st century Montreal in Antigone. […] Writer/director Sophie Deraspe’s loose adaptation retains a fascination with the ties and responsibilities of family, but also develops into a timely reflection on the refugee experience. An ambitious, wide-ranging drama […] Deraspe uses the story of one individual to explore a hefty agenda from poverty, inequality of opportunity and racism to the true colours of a society that seems to set immigrants up to fail and then punish them when that happens. […] Nahema Ricci […] gives a gutsy, committed interpretation of Antigone’s journey from hope to disillusion.” Allan Hunter, ScreenDaily, 06/10/2019

“a contemporary spin on the Greek tragedy that feels refreshingly liberated by the spirit of Sophocles’ original material, rather than slavishly devoted to its letter. Further electrified by a performance of immense self-possession and dignity from revelatory new star Nahéma Ricci, the clever screenplay […] injects these ancient archetypes directly into the bloodstream of the modern-day immigration debate. […] But justifiable rage at the callous institutional mistreatment of foreign-born citizens and residents is only one of “Antigone’s” topical concerns. […] Antigone is also interested in the perilous, social-media-assisted process by which a person — especially a young person, especially a young woman — can be remade as a symbol. […] Sophocles’ Antigone is a tragedy. Deraspe’s Antigone is one, too, though subtler, less about loss of life than loss of idealism.” Jessica Kiang, Variety, 07/10/2019 

“Gripping, powerful, and of-the-moment, Antigone loosely adapts Sophocles' Greek tragedy and situates it in contemporary Montreal. The latest from critically acclaimed Québécois writer-director Sophie Deraspe (The Wolves, The Amina Profile) is a compassionate family drama that doesn't hold back on its indictment of the current refugee and immigrant experience in North America.” Toronto International Film Festival 2019

  • Best Canadian Feature Film, Toronto International Film Festival, 2020 (Canada)
  • Best Motion Picture, Canadian Screen Awards, 2020 (Canada)
  • Achievement in Editing, Canadian Screen Awards, 2020 (Canada)
  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Canadian Screen Awards, 2020 (Canada)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay, Canadian Screen Awards, 2020 (Canada)
  • Special Mention for the Best International Screenplay, Palm Springs International Film Festival, 2020 (USA)
  • Best Fiction Feature, Tournai Ramdam Festival, 2020 (Belgium)
  • Best Canadian Feature Film, Whistler Film Festival, 2019 (Canada)
  • Best Performance – Nahéma Ricci, Whistler Film Festival, 2019 (Canada)
  • Best Director – Sophie Deraspe, Whistler Film Festival, 2019 (Canada)
  • Best Screenplay, Whistler Film Festival, 2019 (Canada)
Cast & Credits
Nahéma Ricci, Rachida Oussaada, Nour Belkhiria, Rawad El-Zein, Hakim Brahimi, Paul Doucet, Antoine Desrochers, Benoît Gouin, Jean-Sébastien Courchesne, Lise Castonguay, Nathalie Tannous, Catherine Larochelle
Sophie Deraspe, based on the eponymous play by Sophocles
Sophie Deraspe
Frédéric Cloutier
Yola van Leeuwenkamp
Jean Massicotte, Jad Orphée Chami
WaZabi Films

One of the leading figures of new Quebec cinema, Sophie Deraspe, born in 1973, fell in love with cinema through her visual arts studies in Austria and literature studies at the Universities of Ottawa and Montreal. As both a filmmaker and cinematographer, she worked primarily within the realms of documentary before directing her first feature, Missing Victor Pellerin (2006). After running in the Tiger Competition at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, her second feature, Vital Signs (2009), went on to win 15 awards at multiple international festivals. She won the FIPRESCI award at Torino Film Festival for Les loups (2014). Her first documentary A Gay Girl in Damascus: The Amina Profile (2015) was selected as a World Cinema Documentary at Sundance and won the Special Jury Prize at Hot Docs. Her fifth feature, Antigone (2019), was named Best Canadian Feature at the Toronto International Film Festival and was chosen as the Canadian entry for Best International Feature Film at the Oscars.

  • 2019 – Antigone
  • 2018 – The Seven Last Words
  • 2015 – Le profil Amina (documentary)
  • 2014 – Les loups
  • 2012 – La vie nous arrive (documentary TV series)
  • 2011 – La part du déterminisme (short)
  • 2009 – Les signes vitaux
  • 2006 – Rechercher Victor Pellerin
  • 2006 – ADN-X (TV series)
  • 2003 – Saute la coche (short)
  • 2002 – Diet. Sub-Title (short)
  • 2000 – Flea Market: We Are Used and Cheap (short)
  • 1998 – Moi, la mer, elle est belle (documentary short)