Back to productions
  • Written and Directed byJean-Daniel Lafond
  • Narrated byJean-Daniel Lafond
  • PhotographyJean-Daniel Lafond
  • Edited byBabalou Hamelin
  • Sound RecordingJean-Denis Daoust, Jean-Daniel Lafond, Catherine Van Der Donckt
  • Sound MixSerge Boivin
  • Produced byNathalie Barton (InformAction) & Ren? Ch?nier (ONF/NFB)
  • DistributorOffice national du film du Canada Distributor, National Film Board of Canada

Statement of intent

Back to productions

Short summary

Back to productions

In 2005, Michaëlle Jean became the Governor General of Canada. A dedicated journalist and citizen of the world, she devoted her mandate to youth, women, Indigenous people, and culture, promoting social change and international diplomacy. In 2010, the tragic earthquake in Haiti tookher back to her native land. Michaëlle Jean, A Woman of Purposeis an insider’s look and a thoughtful portrait of the woman and the stateswoman. 

Long summary

On September 27, 2005, Michaëlle Jean became Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada. It was a historic moment. Not only was she the first black woman to occupy Canada’s highest office, she would also make her mark on the role by her intent of turning it into a citizen’s forum. Quickly, this actively engaged, cosmopolitan woman made her convictions clear—use the arts as a tool for social change, encourage the voices of people in excluded and marginalized communities, defend the rights of women and Indigenous people, and bring hope to citizens, in the Far North, in Africa, as well as in the 40 or so countries she would visit during her mandate
In 2010, while she was preparing to leave Rideau Hall, her homeland of Haiti was ravaged by a terrible earthquake…
Filmed by her , director Jean-Daniel Lafond, Michaëlle Jean, A Woman of Purposeis an intimate portrait culled from more than 600 hours of footage and notes taken during Jean’s five years in office. The documentary recounts the various stages of her remarkable journey, one that would result in Michaëlle Jean leaving her own unique stamp on the history of Canadian diplomacy. This intimate and sensitive portrait takes us behind the scenes, showing Jean’s own perspectives—and revealing her to be a sincere, independent, and strong stateswoman.