“My mother was the greatest opera singer ever.” “Does see come to visit you often?” “She can’t, I killed her that’s why I’m here.” In the 2014 Canadian drama ‘Elephant Song’ Toby Green (Bruce Greenwood), an independent psychiatrist is gradually drawn into a psychological mind game by Michael (Xavier Dolan), a disturbed patient whom he is interviewing about the disappearance of Green’s colleague Dr. Lawrence (Colm Feore). “Dr. Lawrence did not come home yesterday. Do you know where he is?”
“I know where Dr. Lawrence is. I’ll make you a deal. I want three things – first you must agree not to read my file, second chocolate, and last Ms. Peterson stays out of this.” Michael, has an aura of charm about himself and displays signs of rationality and intelligence that draws the doctor deeper into the plot despite warnings by nurse Susan Peterson (Catherine Keener) to keep a distance from the patient.
“What’s going on here?” “I’m not sure.” “Don’t let him railroad you.” Dr. Green is assigned to investigate Michael’s involvement as Michael draws the doctor into his plot by convincing him not to read his files, but rather form his own opinion based on what Michael has to offer in explanations. Michael continues revealing his troubled experiences with parents. The elephant connection is from his sole meeting with his father in a nature reserve, when the father kills an elephant in front of his son. The incident traumatized the very young Michael, as does his mother’s cold attitude and her distancing herself from him for a singing career. Michael claimed he “killed his mother” by refusing to call an ambulance for her and instead sang to her the “elephant song” until she died on the floor.
Directed by Charles Binamé and adapted from the same titled stage play by Nicolas Billon, ‘Elephant Song’ premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Starring Bruce Greenwood, Xavier Dolan, and Catherine Keener the film was awarded the Canadian Screen Award for Adapted Screenplay.
Source: YouTube, IMDb