Quebec was rocked by the railway tragedy at Lake-Megantic on July 6, 2013. Images of the explosion and massive fire that killed 47 people in the heart of the municipality of Estre went viral. The “Mégantic” series, which will be available on February 9 on Club Illico, allows you to experience the inside of what the news channels could not show live.
The stories of heroism, resilience, and intense pain are told in this novel in eight episodes written by Sylvain Gaye (“Confessions of a Hitman,” “Mafia Inc.,” “Louis Sayre”), which we reveal today in the trailer.
“The real heroes are being brought up. They did very serious and very valuable things that night,” said Jay, speaking of his “toughest” project to date.
“The main theme of the series is the loss of our little everyday lives. We get the impression that it’s flat, at times, but we’re well into the background.
At first, the seasoned screenwriter refused to tell the story of the worst rail tragedy in Canadian history, that of a 72-car train carrying more than seven million liters of crude that derailed in the Musy Strip. – A cafe, where many of the victims were gathered. “What finally made me want to write ‘Mégantic’ is that I realized we don’t know people’s stories.”
The highlight of that fateful night shied away from politics, so the then-mayor of the city, Colette Roy Laroche, did not appear. There is no talk of rebuilding the city centre, bypass road or lawsuits.
Mr. Guy and also producers Sophie Lorraine and Alexis Durand Brault – who also directs the series – ramp up their visits to Lac-Mégantic, in an empathetic, resolute approach.
“It’s a tragedy that we saw through the lens of the media, but we didn’t feel what these people went through on the inside. That’s where we decided to go,” Sophie Loren said.
The trauma remains alive for some people. According to Sylvain Gay, “Even those who got away with it always have tragedy in mind.”
He continued, “We met people from the local center in Megantec. We talked for a long time, there were even people from that team who were at Musi-Café that evening. They understand the dynamics a lot, and it was very helpful for me to understand the traumas that people have experienced.”
Each episode introduces a new victim, family, or heroic persona, and the characters then intersect depending on the angle or point of view of the hero under the magnifying glass. We also show ourselves in time to see how people work…or not.
Perhaps the witnesses of the tragedy would not want to relive it through fiction, would they? “This is a series meant for the people of Mégantic, but it’s not necessarily meant for them,” said Mr. Guy.
An English-language project seems to be making things happen in Quebec. Those producers “were not necessarily interested in the people of Mégantic and were in the process of building their own version, so we said, ‘No, it has to go through us and we fit the good moments and the worst in Quebec,'” Sophie Loren said.
Mégantic was shot in 2021, with 150 actors involved, followed by over a year of post-production including plenty of sound and special effects.
“We gave ourselves the means, and on top of that, we waited and worked for a long time on the series to get the means to do that, to convince the people around us that it’s important, if we want to translate events correctly, to have the means to do that. So yeah, there’s a lot of “We even bought vans to recreate the train on fire,” added the producer, who has made no secret of her international ambitions with Mégantic.
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