Queen (Mary) Sun | The press

An almost monastic silence reigned in the newspaper’s editorial office. The sun. Nothing unusual for a Sunday evening in August 1997, when regular journalists used their annual leave, including weekends.

Posted at 8:15am

There was only one reporter on duty: me, the redundant newsman, locked in a windowless interrogation room where police scanners crackled constantly. A great summer job, we’ll tell ourselves as we wait for college classes to resume in the fall.

Back then, the little newcomers “closed” the newspaper, which means they entered the editorial office in the late afternoon and got all the news that rolled in by the end of the day to print – on paper, yes, yes – the final edition between 11 p.m. and midnight . Basically it was fires, traffic accidents, bomb threats or, on rare occasions, murders.

I’ve always liked working in the evenings and “closed” The press for several years thereafter. It was the best school to learn to trade quickly and well.

On Sunday, August 10, 1997, Marie-Soleil Tougas and Jean-Claude Lauzon’s Cessna crashed into a mountain south of Kuujjuaq early in the afternoon, but their deaths were not confirmed by the Sûreté du Québec until late in the evening.

In my box of miscellaneous facts, I screamed before landing in the chief medical officer’s office in a panic: Marie-Soleil Tougas is dead, it can’t be, come on, that’s big, that’s big, that doesn’t make sense, she was only 27 , I feel like I fainted, what do we do?

It was the first time I was so shocked by a story I was reporting. As if this tragedy were directed against a member of my own family. Zoe Cayer in banana peelJudith Letourneau in ChopSueyI grew up watching Marie-Soleil Tougas on TV. I felt like I knew her personally.

I vividly remembered his time at Fort Boyard where she screamed in disgust, dipping her hand into a jar full of sticky bugs: “The mice, what the shit are they eating?” she’d yelled in a classic moment of nervousness.

I remembered the time she shaved her beautiful brown hair on a whim just to bleach it. I remembered the Griffe d’or, the TV series jasminefrom rooms in town and his ads to prevent AIDS or sexually transmitted diseases (that’s what the time called it). She was beautiful, Marie-Soleil. She was perfect, smart, talented, funny and lovely. The shock was immense for Quebecers that Sunday, all generations together.

Not only did the showbiz darling suddenly disappear, but the general public also discovered at the same time that Marie-Soleil Tougas was dating Jean-Claude Lauzon, 43, the horrid kid of Quebec cinema. An unlikely pair – she, the angel, he, the demon – who could not have imagined dating.

Go, go, go, you have 20 minutes to write tomorrow’s headline, the editor-in-chief then ordered me, who hastily turned his front page inside out. The deadline left no room for delay and I wrote the text at lightning speed while a rush of adrenaline coursed through my body. I couldn’t believe the words that rolled across the screen: “Marie-Soleil Tougas and Jean-Claude Lauzon lost their lives when their small plane crashed in far north Quebec”.

These memories surfaced after watching the documentary Marie-Soleil and Jean-Claude: beyond the stars, which Videotron’s Vrai platform has been offering to its subscribers for a week. It only remains to hope that a Quebecor general public channel (TVA or Moi et cie) recovers this quality production to make it shine more, it is urgent.

The 1h20 film by director Jean-François Poisson (The Order of the Sun Temple) does not reveal any new facts about the accident, but continues to explore the stormy relationship between the actress and the creator of Leoparticularly by reading excerpts from their respective diaries.

Your heart can only sink when you see the images of Marie-Soleil Tougas’ funeral, my God, or those of Gaston Lepage and Patrice L’Ecuyer’s press conference two days after the terrible events. Gaston Lepage and Patrice L’Ecuyer joined Marie-Soleil Tougas and Jean-Claude Lauzon on this disastrous fishing trip.

Twenty-five years later, the wound is still acute for those close to Marie-Soleil, including her mother, Micheline Bégin, and her brother, Sébastien Tougas.

The ex-colleague Nathalie Petrowski, whose father André Jean-Claude Lauzon took under his wing at the end of his youth, draws a fair and uncompromising portrait of the filmmaker who is as talented as he is outdated.

Marie-Soleil and Jean-Claude: beyond the stars shows a time that no longer exists. A time without social networks, without LCN and in which the beautiful Marie-Soleil shone as brightly as a star that shot anything but in our hearts.

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