“The shoemaker”: the loves of a pioneer

“The shoemaker”: loves of a pioneer

Rose-Marie Perreault and Élise Guilbault lend their features to a Quebec pioneer in the film “La Cordonnière”, directed by François Bouvier, which opens on Friday.

Rose-Marie Perreault and Élise Guilbault lend their features to a Quebec pioneer in the film La cordonnière, directed by François Bouvier, which opens on Friday.  

The actresses embody at two periods of her life Victoire Du Sault, the first woman to have worked as a shoemaker in Quebec. A pioneer of entrepreneurship who loved with the same passion as she defied social conventions in the mid-19th century. 

Le bias des amours 

However, it is not in this sober feature film that we will delve into the exceptional career of this feminist before her time who built a veritable shoe empire — there is however certainly material for a another work.

“It's a love movie; it's not a biopic”, says François Bouvier in an interview with Métro.  

The melodrama focuses instead on the heartbreaking stories of Victoire, who harbors a heavy family secret. “The weight of lies crushes everything it carries. There is no freedom apart from the truth”, says the protagonist on the verge of death. 

It is better to accept this proposal in order to fully appreciate The Shoemaker, adapted from the successful saga in four novels by Pauline Gill. 

Victoire go-getter 

If we touch on Victoire's avant-garde achievements — including the shoemaking is at the origin of the fortune of the Dufresne family, owner of the castle of the same name in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve —, “we see its drive, says the filmmaker. We show that she has character, that she knows where she is going, that she takes the means to get there.” 

“It's a period film, but Victoire is very modern, her desires are very contemporary, confirms Rose-Marie Perreault. She is in reaction against her time. She does not understand that, because she is a woman, she does not have access to the world she dreams of devouring, of living. »

Determined and daring, defying the established order, Victoire “allowed herself to live her passions against all odds, at a time when she was told: 'no, you don't have the right'”, continues the actress.  

This is particularly the case concerning her inextinguishable love with the horse breeder George-Noël Dufresne (camped by Pierre-Yves Cardinal), with whom she “had a relationship of equals”, underlines Rose-Marie. “He's older than her, they're in different places in their lives, but he looks up to her, he's helping her start her business, he's supporting her. » 

«La cordonni&egrave ;re”: the loves of a pioneer” Photo: Les Films Opale 

<h3 class=Love Triangle 

It was the complex and winding love stories of Victoire Du Sault that first of all seduced François Bouvier when reading the screenplay of Sylvain Guy (Mafia inc., Mégantic). In addition to her romance with George-Noël, she married his eldest son, Thomas (Nicolas Fontaine). 

The connection between these “three honest characters who love each other with an unfailing love, but who carry it in different ways” fascinated him, says the director of La Bolduc and Winter Stories, which claims to be challenged above all by the intentions and emotions of the characters, not by the historical contexts.

Speaking of intentions and emotions, there is a contrast between the shoemaker's desires and guilt, which required a game of discretion, notes Rose-Marie. “Victoire is bubbling from within, but she can't show it,” she illustrates. sentimental by Victoire DuSault, the actress is delighted to play in a film putting a pioneer in the foreground: “There should be more portraits of women like her. »

“It's a nice reminder of where we come from, that all is not won in relation to gender equality,” she concludes. We can rejoice in the progress, but without congratulating ourselves too much: there is still work to be done. » 

“La cordonni&egrave ;re”: the loves of a pioneer” Photo : Les Films Opale Photo : Les Films Opale

<p class=Rose-Marie Perreault walked the boards for the first time this winter, fulfilling a dream of long time. She played a teacher falling in love with a new New York friend and victim of homophobic violence in the play Stop Kiss, presented at La Licorne, a “great experience”, says- she.  

“I loved being able to take the pulse every night of the words we were saying. I think I wanted to become an actress when I went to the theater for the first time, she says. It gave me an electric shock, it was galvanizing. » 

She was all the more delighted with this initiatory experience as it was an important piece in her eyes. “We do not give enough voice to the queer community, in particular to lesbians”, underlines Rose-Marie, who would like her “career to include its share of theatre”.  

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