I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing

Director: Patricia Rozema Year: 1987 Run Time: 81min
I've Heard the Mermaids Singing (Le chant des sirènes) (1987)

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


Don Haig, Alexandra Raffe, Patricia Rozema


Sheila McCarthy, Paule Baillargeon, Ann-Marie MacDonald




English, Dubbed in French


EN Subtitles, FR Subtitles

Closed Captioning:

Dubbed in French


I've Heard the Mermaids Singing is filmed and set in Ontario. Patricia Rozema is from Ontario.

Ratings by Province:

NR Alberta
PG British Columbia
PG Manitoba
NR New Brunswick
NR Newfoundland and Labrador
NR Nova Scotia
NR Northwest Territories
NR Nunavut
NR Ontario
NR Prince Edward Island
G Québec
NR Saskatchewan
NR Yukon