Lilies begins in 1952 with the bishop Jean Bilodeau (Marcel Sabourin) coming to a prison to hear the confession of a dying inmate, Simon Doucet (Aubert Pallascio), who was a childhood friend of his. Simon, however, instead forces Bilodeau to watch the other prisoners perform a play about the events that led him to be imprisoned 40 years ago.
In this second story, in 1912, the young Simon (Jason Cadieux) and another boy named Vallier (Danny Gilmore) are in love and engaged in a passionate affair. The young Bilodeau (Matthew Ferguson) finds out. He confronts them, and his interferences causes Simon’s father to learn about the affair. Simon’s father reacts by brutally beating his son.
Recovering from the beating and renouncing his love for Vallier, Simon asks a visiting Parisian, Lydie-Anne (Alexander Chapman) to marry him. Vallier comes to their engagement party to try to prevent the marriage. Simon doesn’t change his plans, but does go with Vallier after the party for one final night together. Bilodeau follows them and confesses his feelings for Simon, but when Simon rejects him, Bilodeau sets fire to Simon and Vallier’s room and locks them in. He later goes back to save Simon, but leaves Vallier and tells the police that Vallier was already dead. Vallier’s murder is the crime Simon is imprisoned for in 1952, and it becomes clear that the play is a strategy to try to get Bilodeau to confess to it. Back at the prison in 1952, Bilodeau asks Simon to kill him, but Simon refuses.
“This is a film of rare beauty and passion which throws conventions of realism out the window.”
“This tale of love, jealousy, and revenge makes for an utterly engrossing and engaging film.”
— The Flick Chick
“Beautifully acted and worth your time.”
— Gay Book Reviews
Did You Know?
The play on which Lilies is based, Les feluettes, premiered in Montreal in 1987. It was originally written in French, but was soon translated into English, and the screenplay for Lilies was adapted by the original playwright, Michel Marc Bouchard, and the play’s English translator, Linda Gaboriau. The film won numerous awards, including the Genie award (Canada’s highest national film award) for Best Motion Picture, and The Montreal World Film Festival’s choice for Best Canadian Film. Review our Gay Themed Films Here