Hot Docs 2014: Guidelines (La Marche À Suivre) (2014)

Posted by Sam Cooper April 11, 2014 0 Comment 4365 views

Intervention can only go so far, and, as the old, proverbial saying goes, “Kids will be kids.” Troubled adolescents are the topic of Jean-François Caissy’s third feature, Guidelines (La marche a suivre), which offers an insightful and abstract look at the youth of a provincial secondary school in Canada.

The kids all suffer from varying problems. For instance, one young boy constantly argues with his older brother. Two brothers arguing seems like a normal occurrence while growing up, except these arguments consist of fists flying, nearly broken bones and almost being choked out. One young girl explains how she and her barrage of friends pick on one girl (for reasons that may or may not be true), and when the unlucky victim finally retaliates, she’s answered with repeated blows from the girls. A lot of these kids are having trouble with their grades and are constantly kicked out of their classroom. Some smoke cigarettes and marijuana. Others are just apathetic. But overall, they’re all merely  bored with the school system.

This is where Guidelines makes things interesting. Juxtaposing these one-on-one interviews with the kids and the adults who try to help them, Caissy throws in footage of the kids outside of the school. We see kids riding ATVs over dirt hills. A bunch of kids pile into a car and drive off into the mountainside. Two boys climb up the scaffolding of a bridge overlooking a river and take in the view before leaping off into the water. Told through long takes, these image contain a plethora of ideas and emotions, all left to the viewer to interpret. This is a documentary that makes you think with the material it gives you, which, in my eyes, makes it stand out among the other docs that feed you the filmmaker’s opinions. It requires some work on the viewers behalf, but Guidelines is a dash of abstract documentation. This is documentary art at its finest.

Screening Times for Guidelines

TIFF Bell Lightbox 4 Mon, Apr 28 6:00 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox 3 Tue, Apr 29 4:30 PM
Scotiabank Theatre 4 Sat, May 3 4:30 PM

Watch the Guidelines Trailer


For more information and to purchase tickets visit

About Sam Cooper

Film exhibitionist enthusiast. Cinephile for hire. Comics and games junkie.

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