God Save Justin Trudeau depicts Liberal leader 'unfiltered and unrestrained'
Film also features an interview with Patrick Brazeau in his Senate office in 2012
Two Quebec filmmakers say moviegoers will have an opportunity to see Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau "unfiltered and unrestrained" in a movie with the provocative title of God Save Justin Trudeau: The Art of Politics in the 21st Century.
The French-language movie by award-winning documentary filmmakers Éric Ruel and Guylaine Maroist is premiering in Montreal on Nov. 18.
- Justin Trudeau: No pressure from my dad to run for office
- On mobile? Watch the movie trailer here (in French)
In a joint telephone interview with CBC News, the filmmakers said the film captures the drama of a 2012 charity boxing match between Trudeau and suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau — a fight known in Ottawa circles as the "Thrilla on the Hilla" — from four separate camera angles.
Maroist said they were seized with the idea that this boxing match was a "metaphor" for the larger political arena and the state of Canadian politics.
"It was a symbol of the fight between the Liberals and the Conservatives," Maroist said from their Montreal office on Thursday.
The film chronicles the two men for a period of three months from the time they began training for the boxing match to the now infamous fight which Trudeau won on March 31, 2012, just over a year before he was chosen to lead the Liberal Party.
Ruel said Canadians will find the film relevant now that Trudeau is seeking "the highest office in the land," because he gave them unprecedented access, resulting in numerous hours of one-on-one filming.
"We can see Mr. Trudeau unfiltered and unrestrained."
The film also features an interview with Brazeau in his Senate office.
Ruel said Brazeau recounted for the cameras his journey from "modest" beginnings to "working in bars" and "picking garbage around Parliament Hill," to his appointment to the Senate.
"That was really something," Ruel said of their interview with Brazeau who was later suspended from the Senate over ineligible expenses.
A request to Brazeau for comment about his role in the film went unanswered on Thursday.
A spokeswoman for Trudeau confirmed the Liberal leader "co-operated" with the filmmakers leading up to the fight but noted neither he nor the Liberal Party was involved with the making of the movie.
"Neither he nor the office has had involvement in the production or final product," Kate Purchase told CBC News in an email.
Purchase also confirmed Trudeau recently saw the film but said he had "no comment."
"The title is certainly creative," she said.
Hurt or help Trudeau?
The filmmakers said they picked the controversial title because "it has many levels of interpretations.''
For one, it stirs up passions in those who love the monarchy as well as with those, the majority in Quebec, who would prefer to see Canada sever all ties to it.
Trudeau, who is mockingly referred to in Quebec as le dauphin — French for the eldest son of a King of France and heir apparent to the throne — is symbolic of the monarchy in this country, said Maroist.
"If we have monarchy in Canada, it's the Trudeau family."
Ruel said the idea for the title was also born out of the Liberal leadership race and the numerous polls that have put Trudeau ahead of the ruling Conservatives despite a perceived lack of policy on the Liberal leader's part.
"Mr. Trudeau is really, for the members of the Liberal Party, a saviour. But there are a lot of questions that still need to be answered, for this to be believed by the population."
"There is a lot of reflection to be done by Canadians," Ruel said.
In the 90-second movie trailer, Trudeau is heard saying "it's because I know that I'll be good at politics, that I've chosen to go into politics."
The lyrics of God Save The King are heard over video of Trudeau making his way to the boxing ring amid cheers from the crowd.
"It's not just a matter of whether we'll win the fight or not, it's a question of how we'll win the fight," Trudeau's voiceover says.
The trailer ends with with fireworks erupting over Parliament Hill.
The film is branded as: "Not a boxing movie. Nor an authorized biography." The filmmakers are counting on the leading star to fire up emotions in friends and foes alike.
"The film will be received in different ways. Some people think it will hurt Mr. Trudeau, some people think it will help him," Ruel said.
"One thing is for sure, nobody feels indifferent when they see the film."