60 min.

Every day, every one of use sees strangers. Men, women, young, old… Wrapped up in our preoccupations and prejudices, we hardly notice them. Other than by accident, we would never meet them. No time, no inclination, no need… But sometimes life has a meeting with one of these ordinary people in store for us; and we suddenly discover a world whose existence we could never have imagined. And sometimes, when we least expect it, we come away touched, heart and soul. This is what happens when the path of Roland de Québec crosses ours.

Full description

Roland de Québec

In one of Quebec City’s older neighbourhoods, a little eighty-year-old man lives in an aging apartment whose walls are covered with thousands of photos of Hollywood stars, Québec celebrities from vaudeville and TV, crowned heads of Europe, mob leaders, stage actors, rock stars and biker club dancers!


So what is it with Roland, is he some kind of a groupie, or what? Not exactly. He took all of these portraits over the course of a career as a photographer that began sixty years ago at the foot of the walls of Old Québec, one evening when he screwed up his courage and approached none other than Édith Piaf in her dressing room at the Cabaret Chez Gérard.


Since that day, each portrait he has taken tells a tale: the tale of a meeting. Because that is the story of Rowland’s life: a fascinating collection of unique moments when two people take the time to look each other in the eye. From Charles Trenet to Céline Dion; from Mick Jagger and Jackie Kennedy to Michael Jackson, and even Queen Elizabeth II.


A child of the Great Depression of the thirties, born into a working-class family in lower town, Roland could have had an entirely different life. And yet, day after day, driven by the conviction that he was just as good as anyone else, he overcame the prejudices and social conventions of his time. From one meeting to another, he made his way and built his name, by his own rules, as a free man, without ever losing sight of his origins.


We wish to share our meeting with this impassioned photographer, so that others can get to know Roland and learn about his life: a fascinating life that he relates with verve and biting humour, backed by his kilometres of remarkable photos.


And we also want to share this meeting to encourage people to get to know others like Roland, those who we let pass by unnoticed every day, with no idea of the riches that they could have to share with us.


Excerpt from the director’s vision:


Through Roland’s life, it is our relation to others, our need to be seen, to be recognized, that I want to explore, with tact, by entering the day-to-day life of this quiet little man who nobody pays any attention to anymore. Today, at over eighty years old, he continues to make a name for himself in a world where old people no longer count.


This is a thought-provoking undertaking that touches me powerfully. Juggling the need for self-reliance with that of outside recognition, we all attempt to forge an identity. Intuitively, Roland set out on a path paved with paradoxes: on the one hand, he broke through the social barriers of his day to make his own way; on the other, he subordinated his individual identity to the recognition given by the people who fascinated him. This unorthodox choice was not without consequences: with neither family nor children, living alone in his tiny apartment surrounded by portraits of celebrities, Roland has nothing else, it would seem, to attest to his place in a world that has started to turn its back on him. And yet, Roland has no regrets. Because there is more. And that is where I want to go with this project.



Directed by Nicolas Léger


Produced by Carine Bourget



With: Claude Valade, Gilles Latulippe, Céline Dion,


Francois Reny, Julie Snyder,


Narration: Robert Lepage


FEQ 68 .17 (1m06)
The Cord
Limoilou – The Movie
Roland de Québec
L'inaccessible étoile
L’inaccessible étoile (En) (2:54)
L’Effet (En) (1min10)
La Traversée légendaire (En) (2:13)


La Urne