For the life of me I can't understand why this 2012 Seattle International Film Festival entry from Canada (Quebec) is called "Wetlands." In fact, "Marécages," is a film about the realities of living on a dairy farm in Canada during a drought. Despite having a swampy marsh on the pro- perty (which we see only once), a big issue is drilling a well that never strikes water.

A father, mother and teenage son are a hard-working family trying to make a go of their dairy. An accident has a devastating effect on all.

We see:
  • Pascale Bussières ("Suzie") is the wife/mother. The first time she thrust her hand into that cow's back end to retrieve a dead calf, I began wondering if this was the career path she envisioned when she started out to be an actress. Her character works non-stop with the milking, gardening, cooking, cleaning, etc., etc., etc. Oh, and she's pregnant.
  • Gabriel Maillè ("Yamasaka") is the son. He works hard, is a bit confused sexually and has started to clash with his parents (he's a teen). He often finds shelter with his grandmother and her girl- friend.
  • Luc Picard ("A Sunday in Kigali") is the husband/father. He weeps when that calf is stillborn and is at his wit's end about money to keep the dairy afloat.
  • François Papineau ("Route 132") is the strapping big fellow who had been passing by and rushes in to help when the accident occurrs. Then he sorta stays....
Because I spent my early life on a farm, I must commend director Guy Édoin for his authentic depiction of the hard-scrabble life these people live. I also got a kick out of the line-dancing, fiddles and Stetsons when two of our folks take a night off. Yee Haw!

Just remember this film is life with no frills, so situations and solutions aren't often pretty. Expect nudity and non-consensual sex, with English captions.