Chat dans le sac, LeA young Québec journalist, Claude, is troubled by the society he lives in and cannot decide whether to undertake the enormous task of trying to change it or to simply compromise and live within its limits. Barbara, his English-Canadian girlfriend from Jewish Montréal, is too concerned with her career in the theatre to worry about social problems and identity. After much soul-searching and conflicts with his editors, Claude leaves Montréal for the country to meditate and, in this retreat to an older, rural Québec, finds his ties to Barbara slowly loosening. With the passing of time, their love slowly dies.
A seminal work in the development of a new cinema in Québec, Le Chat dans le sac takes its formal inspiration from the French New Wave, specifically the work of Jean-Luc Godard. Eschewing the realist narrative traditions of previous feature films in Québec, as well as their largely rural and religious thematic preoccupations, Gilles GROULX weaves a number of political, social, and sexual themes into his fragmented narrative about a failing love affair between the 2 solitudes. Seen as an allegory of an emergent and predominantly urban Québecois nationalism, Le Chat dans le sac is a trenchant, if slightly narcissistic and patriarchal, call for action to change Québec society. It is also a film intelligent enough, within the jigsaw puzzle mirror it holds up to Québec society, to reveal the limitations of its ultimately trapped and isolated protagonist, Claude, who states presciently, "I am Québecois, so I must find my own way."