The Rocket 5
Running Head: FRENCH CANADIAN DISCRIMINATION
The Rocket: A Film Review Depicting a Theme of French Canadian Discrimination
Dr. Michel Johnson
The film "The Rocket" is the biographical story of hockey legend Maurice Richard, that uses sports to highlight historical bigotry. The movie highlights the discrimination that faced French Canadians at the time of Richard's hockey career. This caused Richard to be torn between his desire to play hockey, and the pressure to give voice to an emerging nationalism. The movie depicts the sociological theme of French Canadian discrimination demonstrated by the language barrier, racial harassments, and physical assault between Maurice Richard and English speaking Canadian and American society. Maurice Richard remains a French Canadian icon, who always fought injustice, on the level of hockey, because that was his domain. This related to the French Canadian population, who projected their hopes and dreams onto the "Rocket".
The language barrier between the French and English speaking people played a huge role in French Canadian discrimination. At the time, the control of Quebec's economic sphere had largely been dominated by English Canadian and American investors. This is demonstrated at the very beginning of the film, when a 17 year old Maurice rushes from his grinding machine shop job to the championship game at an outdoor rink because his Anglophone boss kept him late as punishment for talking to a French union activist. This language barrier continues into Richard's hockey career. The Montreal Canadian players mention in the film that none of the coaches, managers and owners spoke French. They are only given instructions in English, and when they do not reply or understand they are viewed as unintelligent. This is evident when Maurice Richard ties Joe Malone's 27 year old record of 44...