The Dundee Wetlands in a feature film by André Desrochers

Eight storytellers and as many legends

Publié le 28 mars 2017

Director, André Desrochers in the centre with Jean-Sébastien de la Chevrotière, and Jean Aelbrecht, storytellers, David A. Fraser, history advisor, Claude Loyer, cameraman, Denis Gervais, science advisor and Helen Ellis, translator in front and in the back, Benoit Roberge from the ministère de l’Environnement et Changement Climatique Canada, David Fraser, d-g for Dundee and Jacques Loyer, paddler and film extra.

©Chantal Bédard

The Dundee Wetlands have just been added to the various local natural sites that filmmaker André Desrochers has chosen to capture in images; in a feature film that evokes eight legends from this part of the country.

The eighty one minute film entitled Le Fabuleux Marais (Tales of the Dundee Wetlands) was screened at the Dundee Town Hall for some 100 guests last Thursday evening.

Using superb images captured between June, 2015 and October, 2016 in the wetlands bordering lac Saint-François, André Desrochers has incorporated eight legends that have been passed down orally for over 200 years in the region. "We find out about the origin of expressions such as s'habiller sur son 36 (be dressed to the nines), il mouille à sciaux (it's raining buckets) or even ça coûte un bras  (its costs an arm and a leg)," he explained in an interview. "We elaborated on these stories and each storyteller recounted them in his or her own words."

The filmmaker called upon a variety of storytellers including Robert Payant, Jean-Marc Lavigne, Benoit Loyer, Samuel Bleau, Émilie Lévesque, Jean-Sébastien de la Chevrotière, Alexandre Malo-Cyr and the entomologist, Georges Brossard, to introduce these stories of the wetlands.

The film is narrated by actors Pierre Verville, Chantal Dupuis and Alexandre Daneau. There is a version with English sub-titles. This film has also been used to make four minute video clips for the Amis de la Réserve du lac Saint-François. See the film previeux here.

The festival circuit

The ecological riches of Dundee could become known as far away as Europe with the European Premier taking place on August 20th in Dundee, Scotland the city where many of the Haut-St-Laurent settlers came from. It will be screened in the amphitheatre of the Tayside Medical History Museum at the University of Dundee.

The film will then be shown in France at a few small festivals concerning the environment after which it will return to Quebec to be screened during our Journées de la Culture.

But before all this, the  North American Premier of the film Le Fabuleux Marais (Tales of the Dundee Wetlands) will take place May 9th at the Cinéma Capitol in Val d’Or as part of the Festival International de Contes et Légendes en Abitibi-Témiscamingue.

Production was made possible thanks to the collaboration of many partners including the Beauharnois-Salaberry MRC, The Municipality of Dundee, and C sur la télé.