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Le Poison - Le Crime de Maracon
© CAB productions / Climage

Au mois de juin 1949, le crime de Maracon défrayait la chronique judiciaire en Suisse romande. Deux jeunes filles étaient assassinées sans mobile apparent. La police a mené l'enquête pendant près de vingt ans sans jamais découvrir le coupable. Cette affaire a profondément marqué la région et créé un climat de suspicion qui dure encore aujourd'hui. À travers les témoignages de ses principaux acteurs, ce film raconte l'histoire de ce drame et démontre comment la rumeur née d'un deuil impossible a empoisonné durablement tout un pays.

Now aged over ninety, police officer Pahud has still not recovered. Neither has the rest of the population of Semsales, a small village apparently similar to any other village in the region. Except that it still bears the traces of a collective trauma dating back fifty years: two murders that were never solved. That of Hélène Monnard and of Marie-Thérèse Bovey. As for the facts, "Le Poison – Le crime de Maracon" can rely on the voluminous dossier of this case which was closed in 1969: police statements, all kinds of correspondence, and photos.
But Stéphane Goël is interested in phenomena of another genre. The filmmaker returns on location to analyse the reasons for the collective madness with which the villagers were seized at the time.
Since the investigation was not getting anywhere the craziest rumours were soon spread within the small community, poisoning the lives of the inhabitants of the region for decades and bringing to light people's jealousies, resentments and frustrations. Fifty years later, and in spite of the discretion of the people of the region, feelings still run high among the families of the victims who talk in front of the camera. The same emotions are shared by the suspects designated by public condemnation, who in some cases waited for the rest of their lives for an absolution that never came. In Semsales, rumour infiltrated its venom into the collective consciousness. Its sinister work is still not finished.