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I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing

Director Patricia Rozema
Year 1987
Run Time 81min
Genre Drama
In Patricia Rozema’s fanciful character study, aspiring photographer Polly (McCarthy) lands a job at a Toronto art gallery run by Gabrielle (Baillargeon), who is also a painter. Polly is impressed with Gabrielle’s paintings, but as Polly gets to know her lover Mary (MacDonald) and becomes entangled in their lives, she realizes Gabrielle isn’t exactly who she appears to be.

Though timid on the outside, Polly’s inner life is rich and full of charming fantasies which Rozema brings to life in black & white sequences that punctuate the film with humour and whimsy.

The film won the award for Best First Feature at the Cannes Film Festival, and in 1993 was ranked as one of TIFF’s Top 10 Canadian Films of All Time.


Patricia Rozema


Patricia Rozema


Sheila McCarthy, Paule Baillargeon, Ann-Marie MacDonald


Don Haig, Alexandra Raffe, Patricia Rozema




BIPOC Stories, Female Filmmaker, LGBTQ2S+

Original Language


Language Versions

EN CC, FR Dub, FR Subtitles

Canadian Distributor