This article approaches the fragmentation of identities characteristic of contemporary Western societies through the 1992 film Léolo by Jean-Claude Lauzon. Although it does explore linguistic, social, religious and ethnic divisions, this major piece of the Quebec repertoire recasts the sociolinguistic conflict between vernacular and formal practices (Labov 1972; Blanche-Benveniste 2002), raising questions of status and choice. This conflict is subsumed by the dialectics between primary and secondary culture. The cultural and linguistic opposition finds a primary metaphor in the film's central motif of the duality of dream and reality. No more than the cultural and linguistic can this opposition find a synthesis. This impossible reconciliation defines the constitutive rupture of the human psyche itself.