Segments in this Video

Gabrielle Roy: Family Background (03:48)


Ellen David reads excerpts of Roy's autobiography. The Landry's decision to settle in Manitoba from Saint Alphonse de Rodriguez fascinated the author. The freedoms they believed emigrating west would hold ended up not becoming true.

Gabrielle Roy: Early Childhood (04:08)

Although Roy used to write how her family was poor, her father was influential within the community. Experts describe the special bond between Roy and her mother. Listen to excerpts of writings about her childhood.

Gabrielle Roy: Adolescence (05:32)

Roy realized she needed to excel in school in order to be able to leave St. Boniface. After secondary school, she studied English in normal school and became a teacher. While at Cardinal, she began telling stories to her students after they had completed lessons.

Gabrielle Roy: Working at the Academy (04:17)

Léonie Guyot taught at École Provencher and recalls listening to soliloquies from "Hamlet" and "Macbeth" recorded by John Barrymore. François Ricard recalls the author's love for theater. Roy spent her last summer in Winnipeg in the Little Waterhen Country.

Gabrielle Roy: Leaving Canada (05:58)

Roy resigned and traveled to London and Paris to study drama. Listen to an excerpt where she says goodbye to her mother. Ricard explains how Roy felt free, began smoking, stopped going to church, and had her first sexual experience.

Gabrielle Roy: Beginning to Write (04:02)

Roy moved into a boarding house in Upshear, near London. Esther, the proprietor, became a second mother to her. Roy returned home feeling like a failure.

Gabrielle Roy: Settling in Montreal (04:00)

Roy became a freelance journalist and wrote for Le Jour, La Revue Moderne, and Le Bulletin des Agriculture. In between assignments she wrote "The Tin Flute"; listen to an excerpt.

Gabrielle Roy: Success (03:13)

Roy sold the rights of "The Tin Flute" to an American publishing company and accepted the Prix Femina award. After leaving Montreal, she married Marcel Carbotte. The couple moved to Paris to live.

"Where Nests the Waterhen" (04:15)

Listen to Roy's inspiration for writing her second novel. Experts describe its impact.

"The Cashier" (03:41)

Returning to Quebec, Roy met Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, whose works were censored by the Catholic Church. Experts describe the impact of the novel.

"The Hidden Mountain" (03:37)

Carol Shields describes how Roy fought against female stereotypes. Listen to an excerpt of the novel.

Gabrielle Roy: Searching for the Right Words (04:30)

Alain Stanke describes how Roy only had a few friends. She spent long times apart from Carbotte and felt divided between writing and family. Listen to an excerpt from "Enchantment and Sorrow."

Gabrielle Roy: Remembering Mother (04:30)

Roy tried to atone for abandoning her mother by creating characters and dedicating books to her. Listen to an excerpt from "The Road Past Altamont." Ricard discusses the changes in her authorial style.

Gabrielle Roy: Nationalist (03:38)

Experts describe how immigrants and strangers inspired Roy's writings. Listen to an excerpt of "Where Will You Go, Sam Lee Wong?" Ricard recounts how Roy was appreciated by French and English readers in Canada.

"The Fragile Lights of Earth" (04:44)

Yolande Roy-Cyr describes differences between the writer's personality and her protagonists. Stanke describes how Roy needed to be coddled, appreciated, and refused to give interviews.

"Children of My Heart" (06:19)

Stanke describes how beautiful Roy looked when he photographed her. Simard discusses her relationship with Roy.

Gabrielle Roy: Last Months (04:31)

Roy dragged herself to her country home and spent time with Simard. Listen to an excerpt of "Garden in the Wind." Experts and friends recount her last days.

Credits: Gabrielle Roy (02:11)

Credits: Gabrielle Roy

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Gabrielle Roy

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This documentary is about one of Canada's most important woman of letters. A visual and intellectual delight, this film is a tribute to the highly acclaimed literary works and fascinating life of Gabrielle Roy. Gabrielle Roy was a fiercely independent woman who defied her destiny and broke gender boundaries in post-war Canada. She was a modern writer and reporter ahead of her time. Award-winning director Léa Pool captures the fragility and greatness of Gabrielle Roy's life by travelling to the places that served as a backdrop for her singular journey.

Length: 79 minutes

Item#: BVL150257

ISBN: 978-1-64347-657-5

Copyright date: ©1998

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.