Dir. Serge-Olivier Rondeau - 21min - 2021 - Canada
The Grand National, held at the Saint-Hyacinthe agricultural fair, is the biggest truck and tractor pull event in Canada. Over the course of three days, to an audience of 20,000, more than sixty competitors come from all over North America with little to win but the applause of the crowd. Originally developed by farmers to test the strength of their horses, pulling challenges are historically tied to the reality of rural labour and to the working classes, which form the majority of its audience. Following the mechanisation of agriculture, the contenders’ profound understanding of animals was replaced by an intricate knowledge of all things mechanical. This expertise is brought to bear in a competition where feats of strength and deafening noise meet the smell of diesel and the fruit fragrances added to the methanol fuel. The film Grand National follows one of the competitors at this major event of the North American agricultural world where we can observe the strong bonds that are formed between humans and machines.