While on a cycling tour of Belgium, a close-knit group of friends must deal with one of their members’ decision to end his life with dignity, in this poignant and deeply felt drama.
Tour de Force
Affecting and uplifting, Tour de Force tells the poignant story of a man attempting to exit his life with grace, and the close-knit group of friends who must struggle to accept his decision.
Every year, Hannes and his wife Kiki go on a cycling vacation with their friends, a trip as filled with customs and rituals as any family Christmas. This year, it is Hannes's turn to choose the destination, and — to everyone's puzzlement, chagrin even — he opts for Belgium. That disappointment evaporates as the group pedals across the gorgeous Flemish countryside, but a pall suddenly descends when Hannes discloses the real motive behind the trip: like his father before him, Hannes is struggling with the degenerative disease ALS, and his recent decline has been so sharp that he has chosen to end his life in Belgium, where assisted suicide is legal. Shocked, saddened, and thrown into turmoil, the group nevertheless decides to continue on their journey. As Hannes moves closer to his final destination, he, Kiki, and their friends not only find comfort in the traditions that have sustained their relationships through the years, but they learn how the ties that bind can also allow one to let go.
Posing his painful questions with deeply felt emotion and unexpected, good-natured humour, director Christian Zübert eschews melodrama every step of the way as he guides his characters towards the film's moving finale. As is evident from the contentment and peace that Hannes finds in his decision, Tour de Force is ultimately less about choosing to die than choosing how to live.
CONTEMPORARY WORLD SPEAKERS
Robert Austin, Lecturer at the Munk School's Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, is an expert on East Central and Southeastern Europe in both historic and contemporary perspective. He will speak about Tour de Force in an extended Q&A session following the second screening of the film. Special thanks to the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs.