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Jean-Daniel Lafond CC (born 18 August 1944) is a French-born Canadian filmmaker, ex-teacher of philosophy, and the husband to the former Governor General Michaëlle Jean, making him the Viceregal Consort of Canada during her service.

Jean-Daniel Lafond
Born (1944-08-18) August 18, 1944 (age 74)
Known forViceregal consort to Michaëlle Jean
Spouse(s)Michaëlle Jean



Lafond was born in France during the liberation of Paris from the Nazis. After attending the class of Michel Foucault and Michel Serres, he taught philosophy from 1971 "while pursuing research in audio-visual training and communications". In 1974 Lafond left France for Quebec and became a Canadian citizen in 1981. After teaching at the Université de Montréal he left the university to focus on film-making, radio and writing.

From his first marriage Lafond has two daughters Estelle and Élise, as well as two grandchildren. With his current wife former Governor General Michaëlle Jean he has a daughter Marie-Éden (born in 1999), adopted from Haiti.


  • Images d'un doux ethnocide, with Arthur Lamothe, Montréal, Ateliers audio-visuels du Québec, 1979.
  • Vidéo-communication, with Claire Meunier, Montréal, Publications Grerdave, 1979.
  • Pratique et analyse des médias en milieu éducatif, Montréal, Publications Grerdave, 1980.
  • Le film sous influence : un procédé d'analyse, Paris, Édilig, "Médiathèque", 1982.
  • Les traces du rêve, Montréal, L'Hexagone, 1991.
  • La manière nègre ou Aimé Césaire, chemin faisant : genèse d'un film, Montréal, L'Hexagone, 1993.
  • La liberté en colère : le livre du film, Montréal, L'Hexagone, 1994.
  • Iran : les mots du silence, with Fred A. Reed, Laval, Les 400 Coups, 2006.
  • Conversations in Tehran, with Fred A. Reed, Vancouver, Talon Books, 2006.
  • Marie de l'Incarnation ou la déraison d'amour, with Marie Tifo, Montréal, Leméac, 2009.
  • Un désir d'Amérique. Fragments nomades, Montréal, Édito, 2015.


  • "Préface : la rencontre", in Olivier Ducharme et Pierre-Alexandre Fradet, Une vie sans bon sens. Regard philosophique sur Pierre Perrault, Montréal, Nota bene, 2016.


  • La Liberté en colère
  • Tropique Nord
  • Haïti dans tous nos rêves
  • les Traces du rêve
  • la Manière nègre ou Aimé Césaire chemin faisant
  • L'Heure de Cuba
  • Salam Iran
  • Le Cabinet du docteur Ferron
  • Le Fugitif ou les vérités d'Hassan
  • Marie_de_l'Incarnation#Folle_de_Dieu|Folle de Dieu[1]
  • Un film avec toi


  • Chevalier of l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France (2014)
  • Prize TV5 pour le meilleur documentaire de langue française
  • Prize Lumières de l'Association québécoise des réalisateurs pour l'ensemble de son oeuvre
  • Prize Gemini du meilleur réalisateur
  • Prize Gemini pour l'image
  • Prize Hot Docs pour le meilleur film politique, Toronto
  • Member Royal Society of Canada
  • "Saskatchewan Centennial Medal"
  • Companion of the Order of Canada


When in 2005 his wife was nominated by Prime Minister Paul Martin as the next Governor General, controversy arose when his past resurfaced. While the personality of Michaëlle Jean was mostly accepted throughout Canada, Lafond himself had early on been suspected of being a Quebec separatist because of some of his movies. When an article in a sovereigntist journal made its way to the press, alleging that Lafond had befriended a former FLQ (militant Quebec-separatist organization) member who had built for him a cache "to hide weapons" in his library. Later in August, his wife reacted to this in a formal letter announcing she and her husband "had never adhered to a political party or to the sovereigntist ideology".

Confusion continues to surround his loyalties. In his book, La manière nègre (The Black Way), he wrote, "So, a sovereign Quebec? An independent Quebec? Yes, and I applaud with both hands and I promise to be at all the St. Jean [Baptiste] parades." However, in October 2005, in an interview with Radio-Canada he said, "I never believed that I could become a separatist. I have a great deal of difficulty with nationalism in general." He also called members of the sovereigntist movement who had called him a traitor, terrorists. At the same time he affirmed that he was a Québécois before a Canadian. He believes that he has always fought for the "cultural independence" of Quebec, but nothing further.[2]

Lafond's 2006 film American Fugitive: The Truth About Hassan, a documentary about an American political activist who has admitted to assassinating an Iranian diplomat in 1980, who appeared, unexpectedly, in the 2001 film Kandahar, also stirred controversy. The National Post asserted that the film was too sympathetic to David Belfield, the activist.[3][4][5]


In 2010, he was made a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.[6]

As the spouse of the then Governor General, in 2005 he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada and was awarded the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal.

Ribbon bars of Jean-Daniel Lafond



  1. ^ « Un projet né il y a près de 30 ans », Denise Martel, Le Journal de Québec
  2. ^ Jean's husband blasts separatists, The Globe and Mail, October 27, 2005
  3. ^ American Fugitive:The Truth About Hassan Archived 2008-12-08 at the Wayback Machine, InformAction
  4. ^ Lafond's new film hits hot buttons, CBC, April 26, 2006
  5. ^ Airbrushing a killer Archived 2009-12-10 at the Wayback Machine, National Post, May 2, 2006
  6. ^ "Jean-Daniel Lafond Honoured". The Governor General of Canada.
  7. ^ Canadian Heraldic Authority. "The Public Register of Arms, Flags, and Badges of Canada > Jean-Daniel Lafond". Queen's Printer for Canada. Archived from the original on July 28, 2016. Retrieved February 11, 2014.

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