Saturday, October 29th, 1h30pm, Room 3
Directed by Alain Vézina
On April 18, 1763, a young woman, having been found guilty of murdering her husband, is hanged. Such a mundane factoid should, under normal circumstances, have been lost to history. The unusual methods by which authorities disposed of the woman’s body, however, have ensured that she—and her death—be remembered some two and a half centuries later.
The woman’s corpse was locked in a cage and exposed for public viewing for nearly forty days, a macabre symbol of the British regime’s newly acquired power in the region. Over the years, decades and centuries, oral history ensured that this simple story of judiciary pageantry be imbued with elements of the supernatural, making of this presumed murderess a witch, demon or living corpse.
Having fed the imaginations and audiences of countless storytellers, the legend would further inspire writers, artists and signers who would, together, create one of Quebecois folklore’s most indelible figures: La Corriveau.
In 2011, a shocking discovery anchored the legend to reality: the infamous cage, said to have contained La Corriveau’s corpse, is discovered in the stores of an American museum. A rigorous examination led by the Musée de la civilisation de Québec later authenticated the find.
The documentary retraces this unique artifact’s journey, recounts the tragique tale that originated its construction, and delves into the many legends that made of La Corriveau a key figure in Québec’s collective imagination.