Tango de Montréal

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“Montreal Tango” was made last year for a National Film Board workshop by Tarek al-Nosir and two of his Dawson College classmates, Hernan Wu and James Jacobo-Mandryk. It’s a portrait of immigrants in Montreal that draws its name and inspiration from a 1983 poem by Gérald Godin, “Tango de Montréal.”

The poem, which is an homage to Montreal’s immigrants, is displayed outside Mont-Royal metro as part of an installation created by Les industries perdues in 2000; the artists were inspired by Godin’s old habit of painting his poems on the side of his St. Louis Square home.

Tango de Montréal
Gérald Godin

Sept heures et demie du matin métro de Montréal
c’est plein d’immigrants
ça se lève de bonne heure
ce monde-là

le vieux coeur de la ville
battrait-il donc encore
grâce à eux

ce vieux coeur usé de la ville
avec ses spasmes
ses embolies
ses souffles au coeur
et tous ses défauts

et toutes les raisons du monde qu’il aurait
de s’arrêter
de renoncer

Montreal Tango
translated by Matt McLauchlin

7:30 AM in the Montreal metro
it’s full of immigrants
they get up early
those people

so if the old heart of the city
is still beating
is it thanks to them

this old tired heart of the city
with its spasms
its attacks
its murmurs
and all its faults

and all the reasons in the world it could find
to stop
to give up

One comment

  1. James lastname is “Jacobo-Mandryk” it appears at 3:35 by the end of the clip…

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