Premiering in the International Panorama section of Series Mania, the Québécois limited series “Disobi” delivers the docudrama as an instant thriller, finding notes of tension that guaranteed abortion rights for women across Canada until the 1980s.
With the visual polish that has become a signature for even the Montreal-based productions, the six-part premium drama follows the true case of Chantelle Daigle (Eléonore Loisel), a 21-year-old woman who fought an abusive ex-partner and two pushed against. The court injunction eventually led to a Supreme Court decision that secured bodily autonomy for Canadian women. And all that in just a few weeks.
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“For us, it was important [to hit that urgency], because that’s exactly what happened,” says founder Sophie Lorraine, too. Chantelle went through three stages of jurisdiction and all the way to the Supreme Court in less than two months. While a child was growing inside, these gentlemen were talking, not deciding whether the fetus had a personality or not. Meanwhile, the clock was ticking for him.
Written by Isabelle Pelletier and Daniel Thibault, as well as directed by co-founder Alexis Durand-Brault, “Defiance” revolves around two parallel timelines, following a young woman as she confronts both an abusive partner and a regressive legal authority. frees herself from her past, and looks back on the year before Chantelle fell into that initially toxic relationship with the manipulative Jean-Guy Tremblay (Antoine Pilon of “Mathias & Maxime”).
“Since this is a story about domestic violence and abuse, we needed to put the human beings at the center,” says Lauren. “Chantelle was a young girl in love, overwhelmed with innocence and with a whole and open heart. And if Jean-Guy was manipulative, he was also initially very open, very charming. Of course, you could have seen what was coming.
With the results of the case a simple Wikipedia away, the creative team wanted to play into the uncertainty of the moment, all while creating a period-accurate setting that, for lack of a better word, didn’t feel too sarcastic.
“The 1980s weren’t a pretty decade,” admits Lorraine. “So we had to be very careful not to go overboard, because things can look like a late-night sketch very fast. [Because if] This story happened very close to us, it is resonating all over the world right now.
Founded in 2019 by Laurent and Durand-Brault, Plus Productions Québécois has quickly emerged as a leader in scripted drama. In this year’s Series Mania, the producers will also present “Mégantic” — which tracks the fallout of the 2013 oil disaster in the town of Lac-Mégantic — as part of the Coming Next from Quebec showcase, while back home, they Just started production on season three of “The Sketch Artist”.
A police drama produced by Lorraine and Durand-Brault, and starring Lorraine alongside acclaimed playwright Rachel Grattan and Québécois stalwart Rémy Girard (“The Barbarian Invasion” and “Incandies”), the series’ last two seasons went on blockbuster numbers back home Aired to sell out in over twenty territories worldwide. Global Series Network’s boutique VOD service Walter Presents has acquired the broadcast rights in the US and UK, while Lorraine and Durand-Brault are currently developing an English language remake.
“We’re trying to spread our wings,” says Lorraine. “We want to cater to a wider audience, because we think we have the talent and know-how. What we need right now are international partners.
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