Alexandre Trudeau

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Alexandre "Sacha" Trudeau (born December 25, 1973) is a Canadian filmmaker and journalist, and second son of Canada's former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and Margaret Trudeau.

Early life and education[edit]

The second of three children born to Pierre and Margaret Trudeau during Pierre's term in office, Alexandre Trudeau was a media sensation, just like his brothers, at the time of his birth. However, Pierre and Margaret tried as much as possible to protect their children from the public eye, and after Pierre retired as Prime Minister in 1984, he raised them in relative privacy in Montreal. Like his father and brothers, Alexandre studied at Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf. He graduated with a philosophy degree from McGill University in 1997.

At birth, he was given the nickname "Sacha" (the Russian diminutive of Alexander) in recognition of his father's love of Russian literature and culture. The name also is linked to former Soviet ambassador to Canada and family friend Alexander Yakovlev.

While attending McGill, Alexandre joined the Canadian Forces as a Reserve Entry Scheme Officer at the Royal Canadian Hussars reserve regiment in 1996. He trained at CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, but released voluntarily before completing his training as an armoured officer. Following graduation, he traveled to West Africa to produce his first documentary: Liberia, the Secret War (1998).

When Pierre Trudeau died in 2000, both Alexandre Trudeau and his older brother Justin Trudeau returned to the public eye. Although Alexandre was visibly more reserved and quiet than his brother, his heightened public profile brought new attention[1] to his work as a journalist.

Documentary work[edit]

In the years following his father's death, Trudeau produced documentaries for Canadian television. Alexandre Trudeau attracted controversy in August 2006 for an article he penned praising Fidel Castro's Cuba.[2]

In 2003, he was one of the highest-profile Canadian journalists covering the 2003 invasion of Iraq, producing a documentary film for the CTV program W5, Embedded in Baghdad.

In June 2005, Trudeau focused attention on what he said were the implications for civil liberties in the Canadian government's use of security certificates to detain indefinitely, without trial, suspected terrorists based on secret evidence.

Trudeau offered to be a surety for Hassan Almrei, a Syrian refugee held in a Canadian jail for four years without any charges being laid.[3] Trudeau's appearance in court in support of Almrei resulted in front page coverage in the Toronto Star and National Post and major media attention being given to the security certificate issue for the first time. Trudeau's efforts were chronicled in his documentary "Secure Freedom." Almrei was ordered released under house arrest by a Federal Court judge on January 2, 2009. On December 14, 2009, he was further released and not considered a suspect anymore.

His most recent documentary "Refuge", produced in 2008, tells the story of the crisis in Darfur.

Public life[edit]

Currently, Trudeau is President and Chief Producer at Jujufilms. He and wife Zoë Bedos became the parents of a son, Pierre-Emmanuel Trudeau, on December 22, 2006, and two daughters, Gala Simone Trudeau, born on December 24, 2008, and Ariane Léa Trudeau, born on July 14, 2011. He is also a director of the Trudeau Foundation for excellence in social sciences and humanities research and innovation.

References[edit]

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