Three Canadian Women struggle with multiple ‘Boundaries’ in mythical Besco

From the New Directors/New Films (2017) Website:

Chloé Robichaud’s sophomore feature centers on three women trying to square their political careers with complicated personal lives. Besco, a fictitious island country off the eastern coast of Canada, possesses vast natural resources that foreign companies would love to tap into, which occasions negotiations between Besco’s president (Macha Grenon) and Canadian government reps (including Natalie Dummar as a junior aide from the Ottawa delegation), mediated by a bilingual American (Emily Van Camp). As these three suffer through endless condescensions and mansplanations, they must also contend with an array of outside threats, from lobbyists, terrorists—and their own families. The performances are impeccable, and Robichaud stylishly renders the often absurd mundanity of her heroines’ political ordeal.


Rating from FF2 Editor-in-Chief Jan Lisa Huttner: 4/5

Robichaud’s fascinating new film succeeds on multiple levels. First and foremost, it is a painful political microcosm in which a large country (in this case the real Canada) toys with a small country on its periphery (in this case the fictional island nation of Besco). Besco has abundant natural resources but it is dependent on Canadian investment for much of its infrastructure and Canada provides its main link to the world beyond.

Canadians may be “nice” (at least compared to citizens in many of the other countries in the modern world), but that doesn’t make its business moguls any less rapacious. And while “Danielle Richard,” the president of Besco, tries to do her best in negotiations over mining rights, but she knows she has precious few cards in her hand. Watching from the sidelines is young “Félixe Nasser-Villeray,” an idealistic young politician on her first major assignment.

The acting, by Macha Grenon as “Danielle” and Natalie Dummar as “Félixe,” is first rate, as is the performance of Emily Van Camp as “Emily Price” (the American consultant hired to serve as mediator during negotiation sessions). Robichaud has written a fine script in which they all get to wrestle with personal and professional demons, set to a improvisational jazz score by Simon Bertrand. Special shout-out to Jessica Lee Gagné for her poignant cinematography. Looking through the eyes of the characters, sometimes Besco is a pure jewel set in a luminous sea, but other times, Besco is a chilly, dreary spot on a map in the middle of nowhere.

© Jan Lisa Huttner (3/29/17) FF2 Media 

Rating from FF2 Contributor Isabell Höjman: 2.5/5

While Boundaries is an interesting depiction of three very different women who actually have a lot in common, it never gets more than just interesting. I never felt emotionally involved and I never felt like I was actually “there” in Besco. Too bad because it has such interesting political framing.

© Isabell Höjman (3/29/17) FF2 Media


Top Photo: Natalie Dummar plays “Félixe Nasser-Villeray,” a newly-elected & very idealistic member of Parliament who is brought to Besco as a junior aide with the Ottawa delegation.

Middle Photo: Emily Van Camp plays “Emily Price,” the American consultant hired to serve as mediator during negotiation sessions. Emily’s professional requires extensive travel, so most of her “quality time” with her young son is spent on Skype.

Bottom Photo: Macha Grenon plays “Danielle Richard,” the president of Besco.

Photo Credits: Sébastien Raymond © Productions Pays Inc.

Go to IMDb’s page for Boundaries for additional information about the cast and crew.

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