What do we need in the last moments of our lives? In order to answer this question, the young biologist Simone decides, after the sudden death of her grandmother, to sign up as a volunteer helping with palliative care in a wintry Montreal. Her boyfriend Boris sees the almost obsessive dedication with which she dives into her new work is not just loving altruism, but that she also hides behind the intensive relationships with the dying.
The documentary background of the Canadian artist / camera woman Sophie Deraspe shows through in her second feature, for which she also wrote the script. In an unassuming manner, she investigates the strange intimacy between the caregiver and the dying, who come to the crux in the brief period they know each other, with a good chat or a gentle touch as result.
Without becoming melancholy and without a trace of sentimentality, Vital Signs evokes questions about important things in life and tackles sensitive issues such as our relationship with the (decaying) body, putting an end to unbearable suffering and the feeling of power that can take the caregiver by surprise. Minimalist music accompanies the inner quest of Simone, whose role is beautifully performed with poise by the non-professional actress Marie-Helène Bellavance.

International title
Vital Signs
Filmmaker
Sophie Deraspe
Premiere
International premiere
Country
Canada
Year
2009
Medium
35mm
Length
87’
Language
French
Producer
Nicolas Fonseca
Production Company
Les Films Siamois
Sales
Visit Films
Writer
Sophie Deraspe
Cinematography
Sophie Deraspe
Editor
S. Madeleine Leblanc
Production Design
Antonin Sorel
Sound Design
Frédéric Cloutier
Music
Jean-François Laporte, Krista Muir
Cast
Marie-Helène Bellavance
Website
http://www.visitfilms.com/film.asp?movieID=1406