Alexandre Trudeau: The Politically Belligerent Filmmaker


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Alexandre Trudeau is the son of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, a major political figure in Canada, and brother of Justin Trudeau, the current Prime Minister of Canada. The man with such a politically powerful family isn’t a politician but happens to be a documentary film director and an independent journalist based in Montreal. In this post, we will find out more about Alexandre Trudeau. Let’s get started.

Alexandre Trudeau: All You Need To Know

How did Alexandre Trudeau start his filmmaking career?

A graduate in philosophy from McGill University in 1997, Alexandre Trudeau founded his production company JuJu Films in 1998. His documentaries address key social, economic and political issues in Canada and around the world, including At the Heart of War in Iraq (about the middle class of Bagd ad), Cursed Holy Land (about the security barrier separating Israel and the Palestinian territories), Prisoners of Freedom (about the detention of Canadians suspected of terrorist activities), Refuge, a film about Darfur (on the humanitarian crisis) and, more recently, The New Great Game (on the new world order).

What has Alexandre Trudeau said about China? 

The Trudeau brothers, Justin and Alexandre, have been at odds for several years. Having become prime minister, Justin had no choice but to distance himself from Alexandre.

Justin’s younger brother, a member of the Trudeau Foundation where he defends the interests of the family, and therefore the intellectual heritage of his father, demanded to testify Wednesday in a parliamentary committee on the question of Chinese interference in Canada.

In a scathing tone, he instead accused the Globe and Mail, Le Journal de Montreal and the former CEO of the Trudeau Foundation, Pascale Fournier, of having declared war on China. 

Alexandre is an unconditional lover of China, which he first visited with his father and brother. In 2007, he even republished Deux Innocents en Chine Rouge, the book that his father had co-authored with Jacques Hebert in 1960. 

In 2017, he published A Barbarian in New China, the fruit of his travels in the country. There we find interviews with Chinese people on site, who sometimes express reservations, but Alexandre Trudeau doesn’t care.

In an interview with Le Devoir in 2016, Alexandre Trudeau declared: “Progressives say that China is a harsh, totalitarian country. I tell them that it may be true, but make no mistake: China is a happy country. The Chinese are happy.”

Why has Justin Trudeau distanced himself from Alexandre Trudeau?

Aside from his public admiration of China, Alexandre Trudeau has also publicly declared that Iran under the ayatollahs is the last bastion against American hegemony. This means that he does not hide his ideological bias.

We could cite pages of quotes like this. This is what makes us understand why Justin Trudeau distanced himself from a brother who is obviously attracted to dictatorships of all kinds and toxic characters.

For the record, let us remember that Alexandre Trudeau testified in favor of the Montreal preacher Adil Charkaoui, who indoctrinated young Muslims from the Collège de Maisonneuve, some of whom left to join the Islamists in Syria. Moreover, he continued to preach in Montreal. In 2021, the preacher also came to the defense of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Alexandre Trudeau’s violent outing on Wednesday before the parliamentary committee places the Prime Minister of Canada in a delicate situation. He had always managed to keep his reckless younger brother at bay. But the sharp, aggressive and authoritarian tone of his testimony changed everything. 

By attacking the Globe and Mail, a major newspaper respected in English Canada, the Journal de Montréal, read by millions of Quebecers, and Pascale Fournier, the former CEO of the Trudeau Foundation, a discreet academic recognized by her peers, Alexandre Trudeau behaved like a despot with a contemptuous tone. 

In fact, the most arrogant of the Trudeau family is this man in the shadows, condemned in some way to remain discreet because of his brother. 

However, his untimely outing against the media and the former CEO of the Trudeau Foundation risks dragging the institution into turmoil in memory of his father.

Does Alexandre Trudeau only make documentaries?

After filming documentaries in hot spots around the world, Alexandre Trudeau launched into fiction. His first short film Wiisgaapte,  inspired by an Indigenous legend, was broadcast on the CBC network.


The story takes place in winter, on a freezing night, hundreds of years ago. An indigenous woman and her child wait for the father to return. Alone and hungry, they will suddenly have to fight against a horrible threat. “It’s a dark and terrible legend about the survival instinct,” says Alexandre Trudeau. The 14-minute film is shot in the ancient language of the Ojibwe, a people of the Algonquian family. Wiisgaapte was broadcast with English subtitles on the Canadian Reflections program, specializing in short films, on the CBC network. The translation of the title Bitter Smoke.

Filming process

The film required several nights of filming and the work of around thirty people, including three actors. “We worked like crazy,” said Alexandre Trudeau. But one of the beautiful things about this job is collaborating with extraordinary artisans with whom you share your vision. The main role, that of the mother, is played by actress Cara Gee. “I can’t imagine this film without her participation,” Trudeau said. This role allowed her to perform in his grandmother’s Ojibwe language. She took us on a journey through this world.

Cultural appropriation?

At a time of debate on issues of cultural appropriation, Alexandre Trudeau’s work was done with respect for the First Nations. “I understand the sensitivities when we tell stories that belong to them,” he explained. And it must be done with great delicacy. He did it in the choice of actors. But also thanks to the support of Dr. Shirley  Williams, professor emeritus at Trent University. This eminent indigenous personality served as a reference for both the story and the language. “That said, stories are not a limited resource,” he said. When you tell a story, you don’t take it away from anyone. You multiply it.

Why did Alexandre Trudeau make a fictional short film?

Alexandre Trudeau made documentaries because he had “the ease of travel and the understanding of the geopolitical world”. As an independent journalist, he has lifted the veil on political and socio-economic issues. He has traveled across Canada and conflict zones, such as Darfur, Iraq, Israel, and Palestine. “But, it’s always been fiction that motivates me,” he says. This is what allows us to truly penetrate human nature. The director hopes to one day transform complex worlds and extraordinary dramas into feature films. “It’s a big task,” he admits. But I’m getting started. 

Until then, the world of short films allowed him to enter the world of fiction and develop his language. “I see it as a prototype for the style of cinema that I want to make.” As in the documentary, he wants to portray people who are under immense pressure. “When you remove the artifice, the comfort, and the habits of life, you see true human nature,” he said. The director wants to show ordinary people living in extraordinary circumstances. “Because they are transformed, they present us with the whole range of possibilities open to us,” added Alexandre Trudeau. And they reveal who we really are.


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