Bernie Langille Wants to Know What Happened to Bernie Langille

A grandson goes on a quest to discover what happened to a military man who died more than 50 years ago under mysterious circumstances

Bernie Langille never met his grandfather, a corporal who died 15 years before he was born. However, Langille had grown up hearing about the bizarre circumstances of his namesake’s death and how his family believed a military coverup was to blame for their loved one’s demise and had kept them from attaining justice.

Determined to bring healing to his family before the next generation is born, Langille sets out to uncover what happened on that snowy night in 1968. He begins by visiting his grandfather’s grave. An excavation reveals a set of numbers etched on the gravestone, which turns out to be Bernie Langille Sr.’s social insurance number.

Believing his grandmother must have put the number there before she died so future family members could unearth the truth, Langille investigates. He follows a paper trail to medical experts, former friends and neighbours, and comes across duelling family perspectives and a secret that exposes the legacy of a complicated man.

This true crime story is told using miniatures, an unexpected and surreal way to bring the dark family fable to life.

Bernie Langille Wants to Know What Happened to Bernie Langille is an official selection at the 2022 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.