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The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom, by Tara Johns (Hour Magazine, cover)

Montreal director makes dreams come true in her first feature, The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom

Next week, Tara Johns’ first feature, The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom, will close the Rendez-vous du Cinéma Québécois – a huge honour for any film, especially a first feature from an anglo filmmaker, shot and set in Manitoba, with an American country-music superstar referenced in the title. But here’s the thing: This is actually a perfect film for the RVCQ, because it showcases the best aspects a film made here can possibly have – namely that, by any standards, it’s a well-executed, accomplished first film by a promising Montreal filmmaker. Which is what the RVCQ is all about. Though who knows? There might be a bit of Dolly Parton magic thrown in there as well.

When I met the filmmakers for lunch in Little Italy, I was determined not to dwell on the obvious potentially hot-button question about an English-language film closing the RVCQ. But I had to ask. The answer, apparently, is that Ségolène Roederer, the vaunted director of the RVCQ, was taken with the fact that The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom is, above and beyond everything, an unabashed “chick flick” in the purest sense. Read article