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Xavier Dolan’s reflection on the private life of celebrities in the eyes of the public

As a part of the festival’s section New Canadian Cinema – dedicated to the latest films from Canada – audiences will have the opportunity to see the latest film by Xavier Dolan titled The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. The polarising Canadian-born director’s film – the production of which spanned several years – was premiered in Toronto International Film Festival, but the RIGA IFF screening will take place on October 24, at cinema Splendid Palace.

A decade after the death of an American TV star, a young actor Rupert reminisces the written correspondence he shared with him, as well as the impact those letters had on their lives. Rupert Turner reveals all he knows about John’s troubled life, what compromises John made for fame — and how John’s tenderness and generosity inspired that little boy who was desperate to connect with the man he idolized.

The film condemns the cruelty and prejudices that thwarted John’s too-short life while celebrating the depth of his connection to those who truly loved him. Xavier Dolan’s seventh feature and first in English is a summation of key themes the Montreal writer and director often explores: gay alienation and shame, suburban resentment and fraught mother-son relationships.

Susan Sarandon, Natalie Portman, Kit Harington and Kathy Bates all star in major roles! Various biographical details of the director’s life have been woven into the story.

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