The Salesman

The Salesman

Directed by: Sebastien Pilote
105 minutes

New England Premiere

French with English subtitles

“I lie to make people happy,” reveals 67 year-old Marcel Lévesque, a crafty car salesman whose deceptively friendly demeanor and persuasive pitches have earned him the title of salesman-of-the-month for sixteen years running. As his small industrial town struggles to stay afloat amidst harsh economic and environmental conditions, Marcel finds comfort in quiet moments with his daughter and grandson, inviting us to glimpse the softer side of the showman. But when a sudden event threatens to expose his vulnerability and shatter the seemingly unshakable reputation he works so hard to maintain, Marcel is forced to reconsider the consequences of his drive to sell at any cost.

THE SALESMAN is a gripping character study that explores the human impulse to survive in the wake of devastation. The force of writer/director Sébastien Pilote’s carefully constructed narrative is felt in the bitter cold landscape that serves as its backdrop. But the heart of this film lies in the eyes of Gilbert Sicotte, whose strikingly moving portrayal of Marcel is infused with a subtle tenderness that leaves a lasting impression.

—Amy Woodbury Tease