portrait noir et blanc de Christian Lapointe - credit photo François Roy

Screening of Christian Lapointe’s film Head in Flames,

Friday, February 16 at 7 pm.

Discussion with the artist
Wine and cheese offered




Head in Flames

In 2004, while pedaling on his bike, filmmaker Theo van Gogh, the great-grandnephew of the famous Dutch painter, was killed in cold blood in the street in Amsterdam by Mohammed Bouyeri. The murderer attacks him in retaliation for the film Submission that Theo van Gogh directed, written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. In 2009, the American author Lance Olsen wrote a book (Head in Flames) with three voices – the murderer, the director and the painter Vincent Van Gogh – in an oratorio relating these three men. The author shows the painter before his suicide and the two other figures at the time of the murder. The writer uses quotes from the three men to put into perspective the culture of violence that all intolerance generates. Using a deepfake device, artist Christian Lapointe gives substance to Olsen’s score and “resurrects” the protagonists in an experimental film where he himself plays these divisive historical characters.


“When, in 2011, I read ‘Head in Flames’, the book by Lance Olsen, I was living in the Netherlands and I had the feeling this book called for an artistic interpretation. It was only in 2022, while I was working on a live deepfake device for another project, that I had the vision for this adaptation. On November 2, 2024 it will be twenty years since this tragic event took place. It is therefore in the spirit of commemoration that I created this film object.”

— Christian Lapointe


Photo credit – François Roy