Alexandre Trudeau

Documentary Filmmaker | Journalist

Documentary filmmaker and freelance journalist, Alexandre Trudeau shares his bold views on the political, social, and economic forces of our times. Having gained widespread recognition for his edgy and insightful humanism and for his brave iconoclasm and fierce dedication to social justice, Trudeau doesn’t fit into any boxes and never fails to surprise, provoke and inspire.

Trudeau has produced and directed compelling and provocative films and reported from all corners of the world. He was a trusted witness on the ground as the bombs began to fall on Baghdad in 2003; he charted out the intimate realities on both sides of the Israeli security barrier; he stood up for the rights of arbitrarily imprisoned security certificate detainees in Canada; he tracked youth-driven democratic awakenings in the Balkans; he shed light on the origins of unrest in Darfur, Liberia and Haiti; and he deconstructed the Canadian peace-keeping legacy fifty years after Pearson’s Nobel.

In addition, Trudeau helped Canadians grapple with the millennial-old cultural underpinnings behind China’s return to glory during the 2008 Olympics, and tackled the planetary power shifts that link Somali piracy, the Arab Spring, and the all-important maritime resource trade.

Many years and many journeys in the making, Trudeau’s new book, Barbarian Lost: Travels in the New China is an intimate and touching portrait of this ancient nation as it experiences one of the most transformative periods of its long history.

Trudeau is a founding executive committee member of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation for excellence in social sciences and humanities’ research and innovation, and is president and chief producer at JuJu Films.

Diplômé en philosophie de l’université McGill en 1997, il est devenu réalisateur de films documentaires, journaliste à la pige et orateur public. Depuis 1998, il produit et réalise des oeuvres documentaires pour la télévision à partir de la maison de production montréalaise les FILMS JUJU dont il est président et réalisateur en chef.  Ses documentaires sont principalement d’ordre social, et ses sujets, souvent controversés.

Au cours de son travail documentaire, il s’est penché sur des situations telles que la guerre civile libérienne – Liberia. La guerre secrète,  le quotidien des peuples autochtones canadiens (le chant du tambour, la langue mohawk, la vie de famille inuit pour la série Culture Choc dans laquelle participent six autres journalistes bilingues), la jeunesse et la démocratie en Yougoslavie – Belgrade : Un an plus tard, la classe moyenne à Bagdad durant la guerre en Irak- Au cœur de la guerre en Irak, la barrière de sécurité entre Israël et les Territoires palestiniens – Maudite Terre Sainte, et la détention sans accusations de Canadiens soupçonnés d’activités terroristes- Prisonniers de  la liberté.  Plus récemment, en 2008, Alexandre a réalisé le film  Refuge, portant sur la situation de crise au Darfour,  présenté entre autres à Radio-Canada dans le cadre de la série Zone DOC.  Alexandre a aussi réalisé des reportages radio pour la CBC et Radio-Canada sur l’héritage troublé du maintien de la paix canadien – La troisième chance. Les écrits d’Alexandre ont parut dans la presse écrite canadienne.

Il est membre du conseil d’administration de la Fondation Pierre Elliott Trudeau et a été président du conseil de Jeunesse Canada Monde. De retour de Pékin, il participa à la couverture des Jeux Olympiques et il écrit présentement un livre sur la société chinoise moderne.

Forever Young: On Growing Up (Or Not Growing Up) in the 21st Century

The world is changing at a frenzied pace. In a globalized market, our skills and talents are now measured against competitors in faraway places. The job security of previous generations is no longer a reality for today’s young people.

At the same time, the information revolution has broadened the possibilities for learning and developing skill-sets at all stages in life. So, looking forward, today’s youth will be required to invent themselves over and over again to eke out a living and make their way in the world.

Alexandre Trudeau, renowned filmmaker and storyteller, offers Canadian youth a compelling vision for them to effectively engage the challenges and opportunities that the new age holds. He invites them to reclaim for themselves the courage and pragmatism that Canada once required of its youth–who also faced great uncertainties–and match it with the independence and inventiveness unique to these exciting times.

The Way of the World

Canadians are blessed with plenty of elbow room, vast natural resources and unrivaled social peace. For most of us, this makes the violent places of the world seem far away and difficult to understand. Yet every day, we are flooded with stories about the wars tearing these places apart. Comfortable Canadians are left to wonder why these things are happening, what and who might be responsible, and what can be done.

For over two decades, filmmaker and war reporter Alexandre Trudeau has tracked unrest in the world. He has found that there is usually a rhyme and a reason behind the chaos; always a coarse and a fine logic to every war.

Using his personal documentary footage, shot  from some of the world’s most turbulent conflict zones, Trudeau deconstructs how geographic, climatic, political, economic, cultural, and media forces work together to cause violent breakdowns. He argues that unrest has always been a part and parcel of all civilization and only now has ease of travel and trade, as well as the speed of information transmission, amplified and focused the effects of conflict.

Canadian History: An Alternative Take on the Past for a New View of the Future

Canadian history has been told through a narrow prism. For too long, our national narrative has been distilled into something neat and friendly, something clean and nice, fitting the highest ideals of Western tradition. It is a story that makes our past seem comfortable and easy to deal with, and that glosses over the brutality and severity that faced our forefathers. This gross simplification does no justice, however, to the preceding generations, to the strength and endurance that they showed in the face of adversity, and provides little wisdom or insight for the new generations.

Canada is an unfinished country, still in need of bold men and women. From pre-Columbian times through the early explorers and into the complicated nation-building of 19th and 20th centuries, Alexandre Trudeau spins a tale of a different Canada than the one held up now in our comfortable times. He argues that to meet the challenges of the new age, we must make our peace with our true past, no matter how raw and difficult it is, and draw from it our strength.

Understanding China

China is now a major player on the world scene, a major importer of planetary resources, a major producer of manufactured products and a massive and dynamic population pool of potential tourists, emigrants and investors.  It is also an ancient and complex nation that functions according to its very own logic. Making sense of such a potent and unique place can be difficult. Yet one cannot understand the shape of the world today without comprehending the nature of the new China and the growing role it plays, not just in the world economy, but in our everyday lives as well.

Through rare stories and insightful portraits accumulated through years of travel there, Alexandre Trudeau, untangles and decants key notions about the New China. A natural story-teller and author of the bestselling book, Barbarian Lost, Travels in the New China, he sheds light on the origins of Chinese manufacturing successes, on the ethical framework that underlie Chinese life to this day, on the values that set it apart, on the environmental challenges facing the country and on the political transformations of the past, present and future of this ever changing superpower.

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