It’s 1922 in the Quebec countryside, and Claudine Perreault has big plans for her son, François. He’ll enter the pries- thood so that God will forgive her for bearing a child out of wedlock. But 17-year-old François is dead set against joining the seminary. Enraged, Claudine strikes him so violently he goes deaf. After his mother’s death, François begins a different kind of relationship with a woman when he buys the wild and aloof young Amica from an Innu pedlar. Like Kamouraska by Claude Jutra and In the Shadow of the Wind by Yves Simoneau, The Torrent is based on a book by Anne Hébert (her 1950 collection of short stories). With this film, Simon Lavoie delves into guilt, religion and matriarchy, which have long been popular themes in Quebec art and literature. The young filmmaker casts an unflinching gaze on the Quebec soul, blending the historical approach he used in Le déserteur and the poetic style he adopted for Laurentie (co-directed with Mathieu Denis). His strong, mythical characters are brought to life by actors Dominique Quesnel, Laurence Leboeuf and Victor Andrés Trelles Turgeon.