Constructed like a grand epic, Expo 67 Mission Impossible is a true thriller starring the characters who were the Mad Men of Montreal. The organizers had only 1,628 days to build an island, 128 pavilions, three bridges and trains capable of transporting tens of thousands of visitors. A computer modelling team at the Stanford Research Institute predicted failure. The first organizing committee resigned. Speculators started getting edgy. Ottawa and Quebec City were reluctant to cough up the cash for a one-time event that would cost more than all the bridges of Montreal.
Despite endless foot-dragging in the office of Lester B. Pearson, the admonitions of René Lévesque, and almost systematic sabotage on the part of journalists, everything is ready for the official opening on April 28, 1967. The next six months are completely nuts: 183 days during which Montreal’s Mad Men—Robert Shaw, Yves Jasmin, Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien and a few others—surmount all obstacles: threats by the Black Panthers against Lyndon Johnson; a metro strike; bomb threats by FLQ militants; endless line-ups; a chronic shortage of accommodation that led to a variety of comical situations; massive crowds during Grace Kelly’s visit; the political shockwaves caused by Charles de Gaulle’s declaration “Vive le Quebec libre!”; missing children . . . all with an unbelievable procession of visitors, including 63 heads of state, 3,000 guests of honour, 35,000 journalists and 25,000 artists from around the world.
No other world’s fair in the 20th century caused such a stir in its host country and around the globe. Expo 67 Mission Impossible recounts how the powerful artistic direction team exploited cutting-edge ideas and technologies—introducing visitors to space frame architecture, Imax, hands-free phones and pictograms—and revolutionizing everything from arts and culture to local cuisine. It was here that Montreal’s design, fashion and advertising industries were born. Expo 67 was the fabulous utopia its creators had envisioned . . . and its effects are still evident 50 years later. Running time: 68 minutes.
A film by GUYLAINE MAROIST, MICHEL BARBEAU & ERIC RUEL
Editing: MARTIN GAGNON & ERIC RUEL
Research: MICHEL BARBEAU, JULIE BARLOW, CARMEN DESMEULES, PIERRE-ALEXIS JASMIN, GUYLAINE MAROIST & JEAN-BENOIT NADEAU
Director of Photography: RICHARD HAMEL, STÉPHANE RICARD
Narrative Writing and Scriptwriting Consultant: SYLVAIN CORMIER
Consultants: DANIEL DUPRÉ, PIERRE HUET, SERGEI PLEKHANOV
Sound Editing: MARTIN GAGNON, FRANÇOIS LACASSE, ERIC RUEL
Sound Mix: FRANÇOIS LACASSE
Producers: GUYLAINE MAROIST & ERIC RUEL
“☆☆☆☆… We like the quality of the research, the fast paced editing, the dynamism (…), the pride displayed by the film.”
— Normand Provencher, Le Soleil
“A veeeeeery good documentary.”
— Stéphanie Tremblay, Radio-Canada Québec
— Richard Therrien, Le Soleil
“Expo 67 Mission Impossible is an absolute must see.”
— Josée Legault, Journal de Montréal
“A fantastic documentary.”
— Stéphane Garneau, Radio-Canada
“This is not a cheap documentary… We can see the amount of hard work was put into it.”
— Emilie Perreault, 98,5 FM
“Expo 67 Mission Impossible, a fascinating documentary.”
— Julie Jasmine Boudreault
“An extraordinary documentary.”
— Guy A. Lepage, Tout le monde en parle
About Les Productions de la Ruelle
Les Productions de la Ruelle is a company that has been working for 15 years on the production of feature-length documentary films, series and other documentary content. Driven with conviction by producers Guylaine Maroist and Eric Ruel, Les Productions de la Ruelle reveal to the world the other side of history. With the award-winning series J’ai la mémoire qui tourne, the artisans took on the mission of preserving our collective memory by aligning multiple generations through the safeguarding of amateur cinematographic heritage, commonly referred to as home videos.
Rigorously questioning scientific and democratic issues, they’ve also given us shock documentary Gentilly Or Not to Be (winner of two Gemini awards) and the documentary Time Bombs (winner of the Golden Ribbon Award for best Canadian documentary and of the Grand Jury Prize at the NYC Independent Film Festival). The multimedia production company has won several awards, including numerous Gemini awards, the Grand Boomerang Prize in 2009, the Governor General’s History Award (Pierre-Berton Award in 2011) and the Grand Jury Prize – VIFFF d’Or in Switzerland in 2015.