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all the words I couldn't say

all the words I couldn’t say offers an intense, intimate reading of “It’s Strange,” a poem by Nicole Brossard, the internationally acclaimed, feminist Québecois poet. Brossard’s powerful warning poem about the state of our humanity is given voice against an unsettling backdrop of shifting light and shadows.

  • Diana Hope Tegenkamp
  • Nicole Brossard
  • Diana Hope Tegenkamp
  • Diana Hope Tegenkamp
  • Diana Hope Tegenkamp
    Key Cast
  • Diana Hope Tegenkamp
  • Diana Hope Tegenkamp
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Other
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 34 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 15, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
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  • Montreal Independent Film Festival
    Official Selection
  • Toronto International Women's Festival
    Official Selection
  • Berlin International Art Film Festival
    Official Selection
  • New York International Women's Film Festival
Director Biography - Diana Hope Tegenkamp


Diana Hope Tegenkamp is a Métis filmmaker, writer and multi-media artist who lives and creates on Treaty 6 Territory, Homeland of the Métis.

Diana completed a BFA in Film Production at Concordia University. Her most recent work, UNMUTE: Warmups for Body Vocality, screened as part of SLANT EVENT’s Writing Bodies online festival.

all the words I couldn't say is a Finalist in the New York International Women's Festival monthly edition, an Official Selection in the Berlin International Art Film Festival 2021 and Toronto International's Women Festival 2021 monthly editions, and in the Montreal Independent Film Festival 2021 seasonal competition.

Diana’s writing has appeared in Canadian literary journals and her poetry book, Girl running, completed with Canada Council for the Arts and Saskatchewan Arts Board grants, will be published in Fall 2021 by Thistledown Press.

Diana was longlisted for the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize and received second prize in the Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Contest.


Poet, novelist, and essayist, twice Governor General’s Literary Award winner for her poetry, Nicole Brossard has published more than forty books since 1965.

Many among those books have been translated into English: Mauve Desert, Lovhers, The Blue Books, Installations, Museum of Bone and Water, Yesterday at the Hotel Clarendon, and Notebook of Roses and Civilization (shortlisted for the 2008 Griffin International Poetry Prize).

She has cofounded and codirected the avant-garde literary magazine La Barre du Jour (1965-1975), has codirected the film Some American Feminists (1976) and coedited the acclaimed Anthologie de la poésie des femmes au Québec (1991, 2003). She has also won le Grand Prix de Poésie du Festival international de Trois-Rivières in 1989 and in 1999. In 1991, she was awarded le Prix Athanase-David (the highest literary recognition in Québec). She is a member of l’Académie des lettres du Québec. She received the W.O. Mitchell Prize in 2003 and the Canadian Council of Arts Molson Prize in 2006. Her work has influenced a whole generation of poets and feminists and has been translated widely into English and Spanish and as well in other languages.

In 2010, she was made an officer of the Order of Canada and in 2013 a Chevalière de l’Ordre national du Québec. In 2019, she received The Griffin Prize for a Life Achievement. Her most recent book in English is Avant Desire: a Nicole Brossard reader, edited by Sina Queyras, Geneviève Robichaud and Erin Wunker, published by Coach House Book (Toronto) in 2020.

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Director Statement

I first heard Nicole Brossard’s powerful warning poem, It’s Strange, at a public reading given by Brossard. Her poem stayed with me, haunted me. As the on-screen reader or performer for this film poem, my experience of vocalizing, out loud, Brossard’s brave, feminist critique of contemporary society, was exciting and challenging. I found her poem was able to express and clarify things I myself wanted to say but had not quite found the words. Hence, the title: all the words I couldn’t say. I wanted to provide a film poem setting so that others could take in and appreciate the power and beauty of Brossard’s work. I decided to use a visual language of abstraction, moving light and shadow shapes, which would provide a compelling backdrop while not drawing attention away from Brossard’s incredible poetry.