Gabrielle is a special girl suffering from Williams syndrome that involves, among other things, mental retardation. This young woman has a contagious zest for life and a strong propensity for music, which leads her to attend a choir in a leisure center where she meets Martin. From that moment on, the two become inseparable, and they fall in love. And while the choir is getting ready to participate in an important music festival, Gabrielle struggles to become independent, gain the all-desired independence and be able to live her love “outside the box” with Martin hampered by their families.
Gabrielle and Martin are like two modern Romeo and Juliet. They love each other madly. They go against everything and everyone. They want independence and freedom. However, since they both suffer from a syndrome, they are discouraged to live this love.
Gabrielle Marion-Rivard – which is part of Les Muses – performing arts center that offers training in singing, dancing and theater for people with disabilities in the city of Montréal, becomes the muse of “Gabrielle”, the second feature film by the Canadian director Louise Archambault.
People with disabilities are still perceived as eternal children who cannot feel a certain kind of desire and the director Archambault tells with gestures and deep looks two young persons who experience love and sexuality for the first time. The film reveals a disarming authenticity, thanks to sequence shots edited together and scenes in which the world seems to stop to give way to Gabrielle’s strong emotions. Authenticity that rhymes with imperfection and spontaneity which give beauty to this film. The music and choral singing are the added value of the film: convey emotions, aggregate souls and unleash the power of the group, immersing the viewer in an unknown routine and yet so equal to the one he lives.
Gabrielle is an introspective film, brave and free, where the work done on the photography allows to almost touch the sensitivity of the actors.