• Mon 02 Sep 7:30PM
  • Sun 08 Sep 2:30PM

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I Killed My Mother

Director • Xavier Dolan

Country • Canada

Year • 2009

Duration • 96 min

Rating • M

Language • French with English subtitles

I Killed My Mother received an eight-minute standing ovation and won three awards at Director’s Fortnight when it premiered at Cannes Film Festival. Dolan was just 19-years-old at the time.

Self-consciously stylish and insular, I Killed My Mother centres around the explosive relationship between sixteen year old Hubert (played by Québécois filmmaker Xavier Dolan) and his single mother Chantale. The semi-autobiographical narrative, written by Dolan when he was 16, follows the mother-son relationship as it ricochets between love and hate. In between Hubert seeks solace with a boyfriend his mother doesn’t know about and his English teacher who thinks his mother is dead. It’s a film that is filled with friction but, styled with slow-motion, black-and-white interludes, a tempestuous soundtrack and killer shoulder-pads, it plays more like a dream.

“The 20-year-old Canadian filmmaker appears in his own film as Hubert Minel, a 16-year-old cutie whose endless spats with his mother are like volleying razorblades; their volcanic fights are so richly and sensitively attuned to how insecurity informs his character’s rage that you don’t doubt the material was based on personal experience. Dolan has Jenny Lumet’s rare talent for cannily transplanting to paper how people use language as ammunition—how words ricochet during squabbles in unpredictable ways and reveal the best and worst in us all.” – Slant Magazine


At just 24 years-old Xavier Dolan already has three stunning films to his name: I Killed My Mother (2009), Heartbeats (2010) and Laurence Anyways (2012). Dolan has called these three films his ‘impossible love’ trilogy. We’re screening them all across one week. See I Killed My Mother on Monday 2 September, Heartbeats on Tuesday 3 September and Laurence Anyways on Wednesday 4 September or dive right in to our Day of Dolan on Sunday 8 September, when we present all three films in one melodramatic fell swoop.

If you wish to purchase a ticket to the entire trilogy please use this link, which gets you all three films for $40. Note you are not required to see all three films on Sunday 8 September (but you really should). Do some during the week, some on the weekend – whatever you like. You can email us to swap into weekday sessions once you’ve purchased the ticket. Shebeen has all the food and watering facilities you’ll require.

Video art in the cinema. This session we feature Melbourne artist Johann Rashid‘s The Toff Smokes With a View of Dusk. Presented in collaboration with Channels — The Australian Video Art Festival, happening 18–21 September 2013.

“I love you.


I’m telling you so you won’t forget.”


“I Killed My Mother may be touched by the brashness of youth, but it’s guided by a sensitive, self-assured filmmaker who’s able to go where others cannot tread…

Much has been made about Xavier Dolan’s age. I Killed My Mother, written when he was 17 and shot two years later, demonstrates the kind of phenomenal precociousness that publicists adore, and the film’s success at Cannes—an eight-minute standing ovation and three Directors’ Fortnight awards—only confirms the debut director’s movie-made mythos.”



–Film Comment

“A stunning, semi-autobiographical tour de force from writer-director-producer-performer Xavier Dolan. It is a film with the sting of shrewdly observed truth.”

–Screen International