Mireille Dansereau

female
Born
1943
in
QC
Canada
Quebec CA
Lives in
Montreal , ON
Canada
Ontario CA
Biography

Director, scriptwriter, editor, producer. Educated at U. de M. and London’s Royal College of Art, and mentored at the NFB, prolific feminist filmmaker Dansereau is best known to queer audiences for the first independent feature made in Quebec by a woman, La vie rêvée, (Dream Life, 1972, 85). This modernist feminist narrative of two young women’s friendship soon became appropriated by lesbian audiences, especially in English Canada, for the sensual ambiguity of the characters’ friendship and personal/political awakening. The reading of the film’s lesbian subtext by such critics as Jean Bruce (1999) was all the more compelling since 1970s lesbian feminism itself had built on the political continuum between homosociality and homoeroticism, and Canadian lesbians had to wait until well into the 1980s for their first explicitly insider lesbian feature film, whether in English or in French. Upon reviving the film thirty years later, Dansereau emphatically declared her heterosexuality, but retroactive authorial intention or identity do not always determine a work’s meaning for a generation crossing the cinematic desert.