Megantic a deeply human and touching choral work

“Mégantic”: a deeply human and touching choral work

It is a deeply human and touching work that the craftsmen of the “Mégantic” series will offer at Club illico on Thursday, almost 10 years after the tragedy that left 47 dead and left forever scarred the community of 5,600 souls.

• Also read: You see “Mégantic”: strong emotions among the citizens of Lac-Mégantic

• Also read: “Mégantic”: A series that “can do good for the population”

Watching episodes 1 and 3 at the Imperial Cinema in Montreal on Tuesday, many were overwhelmed with emotions and let tears run down their cheeks to fully experience this catastrophe that is still painful for many Méganticois today. .

The successive explosions and burning of crude oil trucks that devastated the heart of Lac-Mégantic on July 6, 2013 were seen on TV by all Quebecers, but to meet people like Gabrielle (Lauren Hartley) and Patrice (Olivier Gervais- Courchesne), had just begun their love story, which is literally heartbreaking. Gabrielle is inspired by Geneviève Breton, 28, who attended the Star Académie in 2008 and was working on her first album, released posthumously in 2014. In his case, and that of many other Méganticois, fate would have his life – like his burgeoning career – come to an abrupt end.

Emotions are also present in the third episode, which is about the Lamarre brothers Daniel (Éric Robidoux) and Vincent (Bruno Marcil). Both are inspired by the Lafontaine brothers, one of whom averted the worst as a hero by using his excavation company’s machines to pull wagons before they exploded. Vincent lost his wife, brother and sister-in-law at the Musi-Café, where many victims gathered on an evening that was to take place like any other. Kudos to MM. Robidoux and Marcil, who live up to their talent, as well as the other actors, directed by director Alexis Durand-Brault (“Portrait Robot”, “Au aid de Béatrice”).


Photo provided by the production.

We await the episode dedicated to Bryan (Joakim Robillard), a volunteer firefighter who cannot survive after witnessing the horror. These people, who later died, increase the number of Lac Mégantic victims.

The eight episodes, so many “little movies” concocted by author Sylvain Guy (“Mafia Inc.”, “Confessions”) focus on, for example, a victim, a family or a firefighter, we introduce them, during and after the derailment. Characters cross paths from one episode to another, contributing to what we hold onto them and being moved by what awaits them.

Mr. Guy, who became friends with Méganticois during his research, speaks of a “profoundly human” and “transformative” project for him. It’s incredibly touching, I have to say, to witness the drama from within and to see that the creators of “Mégantic” were given the necessary budget to tell it all with so much truth. It took over a year of post-production to recreate the explosions and fire, which is unheard of in our small market. This choral work thus has the means of its ambitions and should also convince other listeners internationally.

“For once in Quebec, we’re giving each other the opportunity to tell our stories, I think it’s fabulous,” said Alexis Durand-Brault at the round table after the tour. “We had to find ways to fund the show. And in particular we added [de l’argent] through a sponsorship from Videotron to do justice to the series while respecting the event,” said Vice President of Quebecor Content Denis Dubois.

We also recreated part of downtown Lac-Mégantic, specifically the street where the Musi-Café was located, and also bought wagons that were used to transport crude oil.

The series, as we have already pointed out, takes an interest in the people in all these upheavals, evacuating the political dimension. The then mayor Colette Roy-Laroche is therefore not in the game, as we experience the drama through ordinary people, but also through the engine driver Tom Harding, who is renamed Tim Richards (Duane Murray) in the series. We also discuss all the work of the outreach team’s social workers who are still active in Lac-Mégantic a decade later.

The work is characterized by sensitivity and empathy, and above all it is Quebecers who narrate it after making an effort to get to know the people of Mégantic. So they could share some of their pain with all Quebecers.

Produced by ALSO in collaboration with Quebecor Content, “Mégantic” will be available from Club illico on February 9th.