Directed by brothers Marcel and Réal Racicot, The Enchanted Village is the result of six long years of work. Released in December 1955, premiering in Montreal, the film did rather well in Quebec and played in theatres in Montreal, Quebec, Hull and Sherbrooke. It tells the adventures of a Catholic family settling in Abitibi, Quebec during the colonial era. All is well in the little community and the people are happy until a frightening character shows up, who happens to be a werewolf. An impressive achievement considering its modest budget, the film touches on religious themes and folklore, reminiscent of Hollywood-style cartoon gags and Walt Disney’s productions. A true charm radiates from the film, despite its apparent naivety and technical clumsiness.
Restored in 4K by Éléphant: Mémoire du cinéma Québécois, a philanthropic organisation working solely on restoring and conserving Quebec’s film heritage, the film was freed from the archives at the Cinémathèque Québécoise.
For the special programme entitled Annecy Classics, discover the humble beginnings of Canadian animation with The Enchanted Village.
As an opener to this Annecy Classics special programme, discover an animated short based on a classic film and made as part of "Short Cuts" from Arte’s Court-circuit: Short Cuts "Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate", animated by Stéphanie Cadoret.