Food in Canadian Film, Part 2: J’ai tué ma mère

by Samantha Nardi

The plot of this film is driven by the incessant arguments of mother Chantale (Anne Dorval) and son Hubert (Xavier Dolan), from issues as small as the noise the mother makes while she eats, to the more serious argument that arises when she discovers her son’s hidden homosexuality. These scenes, among others in the film, are marked by the presence of food. Mentions of food, the presence of food in key moments, and most importantly, the multiple dinner scenes throughout are catalysts to the plot’s highly emotional and volatile plotline. Within a traditional familial sit-down dinner setup, these food scenes are the perfect backdrop to highlight minor grievances between mother and son. The opening sequence, framed through Hubert’s skewed perspective in a deliberately heavily edited format, is key in establishing the importance of food in the film.

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