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Veuve de Saint-Pierre La (2000)

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The Widow of Saint-Pierre
That year,
Newfoundland saw|the thickest fog in 10 years.
For three months, one could not see|beyond the tip of their boat.
Ships bells did not prevent
schooners from getting lost,
leaving the fate of its fishermen|to God, or the devil.
Get to work,|Goddamn it!
Back to your quarters!
Which boat do you work for?
"GoéletteFernande."|We got lost four days ago.
I am Louis Ollivier,|he's Neel Auguste.
Come aboard.
The account|of this true story
can be found at the city hall|of Saint-Pierre.
1849|Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon islands
Second French Republic
Hop! Hop! Hop!
I said, "fat."|Old Coupard is fat.
- I say, "big."|- Uh-uh.
We shall see.
I said fat.|He is fat.
He's not skinny,|but he's not fat, either.
He's fat!
You see, he's big.
No, he's fat.
Who's there?
Who's there?
- Fat.|- Big.
- Fat.|- Big.
- Fat.|- Big.
Get ready!
Hoist it!
- Be careful!|- Bring it down!
At last he is here.
He's really beautiful.
Of course he is.
He likes your hands.
That means|less of them for me.
Are you jealous?
Of course, I am jealous.
Well, that's good.|Jealousy suits you well.
We caught|L'Ileaux Chiens' murderers,
those who killed Coupard.
- Hello, ma'am.|- Hello.
Where are they?
On the dock, over there.
How could they do|such a thing?
You'll put them|in the courtyard cells?
Why did they do it?
Neel Auguste,|do you hear me?
Yes, I do.
Call me President, and stand up|when you address me.
Was it your idea|to go to Ileaux Chiens?
No, it was my idea.|I live there.
Stand up, Louis Ollivier,|and speak louder.
You werelast seen|at the Café du Nord at...?
So what time was it?
"Around 10:00 precisely,"|President.
Neel Auguste,|did you open Coupard's door?
No, President, we did not.|He came outside.
He had to bes cared.
He was carrying a knife.
Was he holding it?|Remain standing.
Was he holding it?
Who is supposed to answer?
You answer.|Was Coupard holding his knife?
- Yes, he was.|- What did you do, then?
- I went behind him.|- What for?
Why did you go behind him?
To restrain him, President.
So, Louis Ollivier|restrained Coupard.
And Neel,|were you facing him?
Did you feel threatened|by the knife?
No. I hit his arm.
Can you show us how?
Like that.
I assume he dropped the knife?|Did you pick it up?
- Of course.|- What for?
I did not want|to leave it there.
How about you, Ollivier?
Did you let go of him,|once he dropped the knife?
He let him go afterwards.
After what?
After the ...
Finally.|What stabbing?
You know, sir.
When I... stabbed Coupard.
- Did you stab him once?|- I don't know.
I don't know.
I don't know anymore.
Stand up, Neel Auguste.|Remain standing!
What's his name?
I don't know.|He won't answer to anything.
You have to name him.
Why don't you pick a name?
Uh..."Pickled Herring."
Are you serious?
Of course I am.|You don't like it?
Yes, I do.|"Pickled Herring" is great!
You don't like the horse.
That's not true.
If you like him,|I like him, too.
I like whatever you like.
It's just the way it is.|You can't stop it.
What are|those murderers facing?
The worst thing.
- the guillotine?|- Probably.
Neel Auguste|and Louis Ollivier,
if you want|to get this over with,
tell us why you tried|to cut him up.
Why did you want|to cut him up?
To see if he was fat.
Just to see|if he was fat.
We wanted to see|if he was big or fat.
Big or fat!
They made the decision!
Neel Auguste|will be guillotined,
and Louis Ollivier|will go to jail.
They made the decision!
Neel Auguste|will be guillotined...
They decided!
Neel will get|his head chopped off.
And Louis Ollivier|will go to jail.
This is a Republic.|The republic kills the killers.
That's how it goes.
Will you be|the executioner, officer?
Certainly not.
Not me.
Here we go.
Open the door.
Make way.|Please make way.
Make way.
Too bad it's not me.
Did you see?
He can't even look|through the window.
He's better off|in the dark.
I wouldn't mind chopping|that head off. But how?
We have no guillotine,|and no executioner.
If we can't guillotine|that beast, I'll look like a fool.
Excuse me, Governor,
Couldn't we have a guillotine|and an executioner
sent in from Paris?|In Martinique...
They don't care|about the islands.
If justice is important|for the territories,
Paris should send us|what we need.
Dr. Guillotin fucked us|over with his "widow."
Before him, they executed|by hanging, shooting...
now we need a guillotine,|an executioner, the whole thing.
- Let us ask Paris.|- It will take forever.
Writing back and forth,|it will take months.
At that speed, that beast|will keep his head forever.
Don't interrupt my meeting.
We're bringing in|some lamps, Papa.
That's right.|It was getting dark.
Papa, can we go see|that French boat?
Sure. But tell the sergeant|to use the covered coach.
- It's going to rain.|- Thanks, Papa, we'll tell him.
- Good night, gentlemen.|- Good night.
No petition for pardon?
So be it.
But he'll have to be guillotined,|one way or another.
I don't want my people|to laugh at me.
Port, anyone?
He's looking at my plants.
How long will he be|waiting to be killed?
I don't know.
As long as it takes|to get a guillotine.
- Do you like my new perfume?|- Oh, yes.
So he might wait|for months, years...?
If they haveno guillotine,|why not let him go?
You are right.
Tomorrow I'll open|his cell and let him out.
I'm not kidding, Jean.
I'm not either.
Do I look like|I'm kidding?
She wants|to talk to you.
My wife wants|to talk to you.
But you don't have to.|You don't.
Go upstairs.|She's waiting for you.
Hello, sir.
Come in. Take a seat.
Come on. Take a seat.
Uh... start chatting.|I'll fix some tea.
She wants you to take care|of the garden.
You can help her|with the flowers.
You don't have to accept,
but if you do,|you'll have to work, okay?
Do you know|anything about flowers?
No. Nothing.
Forget it,|you don't have to do it.
We won't have tea.|I... broke the pot.
Uh, you know plants|don't grow well around here.
Only boats grow around here.
The climate isn't...
will you help me grow|a garden in the back yard?
A greenhouse.|A small greenhouse.
You... know what it is?
But it's okay.
I will show you.
I do not know|what you have decided to do.
You will?
Yes, I will.
Thank you!|Thank you so much!
And thanks to you, too!
Would you like|something to eat?
You can go, then.
Ah... uh...
Now you'll have|better meals...
as compensation|for your work.
I don't want|to take advantage of you.
She does not either.
And if things work out|with the flowers, the greenhouse,
you'll get a lamp,|and you'll get your belongings.
We'll see.
Go now.
You're it!
Look at that!
How wonderful!
A real fire!
With logs|coming from France!
It's nothing,|but it's so nice.
Long live the Governor!
MadameVe not...
Excuse me, kids.
Will the captain|ever do us the honor
on joining us|on Sundays, Governor?
Isn't it Madame La Capitaine|you are longing for, officer?
Unfortunately,|you won't be beheaded.
And "Madame La" only deals|with extremecases.
Her husband first, then|Neel Auguste, the murderer.
Or the other way around!
You know she likes|to help others, and for free.
Thank God!
He's already getting|room and board.
Should your murderer|be paid for his release?
Because that's what it is!
What do you mean,|"my" murderer?
Sit down, Papa.
You know the governor|talks before he thinks.
He is "our" murderer,|unfortunately.
-excuse me...|- I've said this before,
he'll keep his head as long|as we don't have a guillotine.
I sent my request for a "widow"|three months ago.
It's already winter.
Cut his head off|if you'd like!
Why is she called|"Madame La"?
So as to not call her|Madame la Capitaine.
We can't call her that|in a country of fishermen.
"Madame La" is a nicename.
It's very smart.
- Madame La.|- Madame La.
Why did Madame La|abandon an important family
for a mere soldier?|What do you think?
Maybe because she's in love.
Her heart is driven|by her passions.
Let us hope her passions|won't drive her too far.
I know you were|completely drunk
the night you...
So now,|you're going to show them
how you really are,
now that|you don't drink anymore.
But you'll have to be patient|until they understand.
That's right.
It's not a small thing|to have killed a man,
and to have killed him|that way.
Hop on,|I'll pull you.
- No, thanks.|- Please.
You are not|my servant, Neel.
I really appreciate|your trust.
Why do you do that?
Excuse me?
Madame La,|why do you do that?
people always change,|no matter what.
People can be evil one day,|and good another.
They change.
And I am sure of that.
Yes, I am.
He's come to take care|of La Malvilain's roof.
It surely needs repair.
And so does she!
In the mean time,|he can pull my sleigh.
You remember|where my house is?
If you like widows,|this is the place.
There's plenty of them!
Why do they call it|"L'Ileaux Chiens"?
Because of the walrus,|the "sea dogs."
- That's right.|- But they have disappeared.
Are there|many widows around here?
Are there...?
Neel, what are you doing?|La Malvilain lives over there.
We'd have to walk by Coupard's.|Let's go this way.
Open the door!
Make way!
Keep him warm.
I've spared you the protocol.
This is the warmest room,|enjoy it.
- Make yourself comfortable.|- I am comfortable, thanks.
Would you like some port?
It's a delicious Portuguese wine.
It keeps you warm.
How is your beautiful wife?
She is not too bored|in Saint-Pierre?
how is Madame La?
Have a taste.|Tell me what you think.
- You can tell me frankly.|- It's an acquired taste.
People are not curious|anymore.
Getting back to your wife,|you know, right?
Of course.
And... do you think|it's appropriate?
Do you think|it's appropriate for her
to walk around|with a murderer?
As far as I'm concerned,|he can just run away.
But what if we receive|"The Widow" and the executioner,
and there's nobody to execute?
Imagine that, eh?
So, please, for once...
don't be so nice to your wife,|and lock up the murderer.
Let's leave my wife alone.
You are captain, but also|head of the penitentiary.
That is right.
I will thus take the condemned|to "The Widow" in due time.
Until then,|he is my responsibility.
While we're waiting for|that god damn "widow"...
My duty is to keep the prisoners|available and in good health,
and that's what I am doing.
Does his health depend on him|being stuck to Madame La?
Madame La is my business,|so mind your own.
Mind your own business.
Captain, your disrespect|is pissing me off,
and that's not new.|They had warned me.
They had warned you|about what?
You know very well.|Forget it.
I just wanted to warn you|about rumors.
A murderer|is still a man, some say.
And your wife is so...|modern.
My wife knows|what she's doing.
Anyone|who disrespects her
will have to kill me|before I kill them.
In that case...
in that case, of course...|that reassures me.
Let's talk about|why you asked me here.
Well... that was it.
- Hello, ma'am.|- Hello, Madame La.
He's the condemned.
He came to fix your roof.
Thanks for taking care of us.
Get inside, it's so cold.
Come in, Neel.
No, thanks. they're for you,|and for emilie.
Do you want a cookie,|Emilie?
You are so lucky|to have a daughter like her.
You don't have any children?
ever since he quit drinking,|that man has been wonderful.
I know.|He's not a bad person.
You know him pretty well.
- Are you done?|- Yes.
Have you lost|your appetite?
Are you worried|about something?
I'm not hungry, that's all.
But with that cold...
Fucking winter!
If you don't like winter,|Captain,
you shouldn't have|come here.
I didn't have a choice.
And your wife...
she deals with the cold|better than you do.
Eat your soup, okay?|Gentlemen.
That guy is bizarre.
He's not a guy.|He's a captain.
And he's always been bizarre.|even back in Paris.
You see?
No more hammering.
No more hammering!|No more hammering!
No more hammering!
That's right,|no more hammering.
No more noise.|No more hammering,
no more Neel,|and no more Mama.
Wait. Stop.
Say goodbye,|I'll wait outside.
If you...
Running away would be terrible.
My husband would be|executed instead of you.
It won't happen.
Why do you do|everything I say?
Hello, Neel.|- Hello.
Hey, convict!
Why aren't you locked up?
What are you doing|outside alone?
- I'm clearing up the way.|- I'll clear you up for you!
Drop the shovel!
Drop it,|Goddamn it!
Hand me your saber.|Drop it now!
Piss off!
Piss off!
Get back to work, Neel.
Who mandated this?
Tell them that next time,|there could be an accident
of my "involuntary" doing.
La Capitaine is waiting|for you at the plant shop.
Down the road.|She's treating you to lunch.
I'll go when I'm done.
Do you really think|they'll grow here?
I don't think|I ever could.
"The top of the trees."
- "The tip..."|- "Top."
"Top...|of the ir... the trees."
- "The sound..."|- "The sound...
of night... in gales."
"The pretty...
"The ... pretty...
Now read this|to yourself, silently.
No, with your eyes only.
"The ..."
Don't say it.|Read it to yourself.
"The roofs..."
No, read it to yourself.
- "of winter..."|- "...winter..."
- "...shines."|- "...shine."
Jean... Jean.
Don't take any risks|for me.
Whom else should I|take them for?
I don't want you to.
I don't want you to.
They can't do anything|against me.
They don't have my strength.
What strength?
What strength?
and this...
...and this.
May 2nd, 1850|Fort-de-France, Martinique
Seehow|he's staring at her.
They probably don't spend|their nights sleeping.
I would wager my husband.
We're not all lucky enough|to have a condemned
we can use as a rival,|to invigorate our dear husbands.
You don't have a condemned,
but you can try|the captain, dear.
No, thank you.
He might spoil my spring time|by being dedicated to his wife.
Sirs, the first boat of the season|is bringing some news.
We'll be receiving|a "widow" very soon.
There public|never disappoints anyone.
How about the executioner?
Well... I have not|heard of that.
They never mentioned|the executioner.
The "Marie-Galante"|will bring in
the tools for the execution,|but that's all.
Nobody to cut the head off.
Where is that "widow"|coming from?
From Martinique.
They just got a new one,
so they're sending in|their old one.
And no executioner?|They have one on Martinique.
You can't borrow|an executioner,
and no captain would|have one on their boat.
So we'll|have to find one here.
If there's a potential|executioner here, find him.
I'm afraid we won't|find anyone.
You are right.
We won't find anyone,|which is good.
The people of Saint-Pierre|are no executioners.
Madame, don't expose|your business to all.
You're already associating|with a soon to be executed...
Please be more specific.
I'm afraid|we did not get that.
That's right.|I did not get it either.
Is this smoking room|not a refuge away from the ladies,
even our wives?|I'm quoting you here.
Don't provoke the captain|and then blame me for it.
You were talking business,|is that right?
Not at all.
I was surprised to see her|around the smoking room.
That's it. Nothing else.
" Nothing else..."
Since there's a doubt,|I demand an apology right now.
Loud and clear,|so every one can hear.
With pleasure.
I sincerely apologize,|Madame,
for what you think I said,|but that I did not mean.
Come on, Jean.
You just ridiculed yourself, sir.|With one word it could go further.
Please, Jean.
I would love|for you to dare.
Too bad.|Maybe some other time.
Gentlemen,|if I may say so.
He does not even have to fuck us|to make cuckolds of our husbands.
Here it is!
Neel Auguste,
you are now an honorary member|of the Café du Nord,
a life time member!|And you'll have a long life.
President Venot is here.
He wants to talk to you.
I heard you.
Our condemned has once again|done the impossible.
He saved the Café du Nord|from sinking.
And what would|Saint-Pierre be without it?
let's take a walk, please.
Neel Auguste's popularity|is becoming alarming.
Please, let's talk about it.
I understand|your position, you know.
You are in charge|of the execution
of the condemned, so...
Between you and me,
I'd also prefer the execution|to not takeplace.
Neel Auguste|has gotten too popular.
We condemned a criminal,|and we'll execute a good person.
everyone here would like|to have him for lunch on Sundays.
We'll have to execute him.|Paris demands it.
Your wife|is too compassionate.
Seriously, what will people think|when the day comes?
What will you do|with the condemned
when "The Widow"|gets here?
So, Captain?
The condemned will be here.
Once you have the machine
and the executioner,|I'll do my job.
And in the meantime?
Beware.|Our Republic is touchy.
Thank you.|Thanks for warning me.
A gift from the soon to be|executed.
The Council should take care|of these roads,
don't you think?
Emilie,|you can eat on your own.
No... I like it.
Your meal will be cold.
Are you not surprised|I asked you to cut the flowers?
Yes, but...
But what?
I suspected they were|for Jeanne-Marie.
Jeanne-Marie,|that says it all.
Are you blushing?
If it is possible,
Neel and I may|get married.
We need to do it|before I start to show.
I'm sorry.
There's no need|to apologize.
Oyez! Oyez!
"The Governor's Council asks,
in accordance with the laws|of our Republic's justices ystem,
that every adult male
with no criminal record,
and who would like to act|as public executioner
and takeadv antage|of the benefits of the position,
present themselves|at the Government's Palace."
Tell us...
what is a public executioner?
Why don't you ask|the Government?
Is it to cut off|Neel's head?
but I'm not supposed|to know.
Does anyone need|a ride to Saint-Pierre?
They won't find anyone|to cut your head off.
Nobody could do that.
It is not hard to kill a man.
You know?
I know.
Did you know?
The announcer says they want|to hire an executioner here.
They want to pay someone|from here to kill him.
The pricks want|to gain Paris' respect.
Don't worry, Neel.|There are no executioners here.
There are a few lost souls,|but no executioners.
- I'm not so sure.|- How much to cut his head off,
when he's tied down|in front of everyone?
Goddamn it!|I would never do that!
Don't feel superior.
There is nobody here|for that job.
That's right.|Nobody wants dirty money.
He could not go back|to France.
He would not be welcome|on a boat.
They put up fliers|everywhere.
And so what?|We can take them down.
Let's go!
"The Governor's Council..."
In the presence of God,|the origin of your love,
and Who will always|be with you,
we will proceed.
Ariel Neel Auguste,
do you take Léontine|Jeanne-MarieMalvilain
as your wife?
I do.
Léontine Jeanne-Marie|Malvilain...
It's okay,|I am here. you take Ariel|Neel Augusteas your husband?
I do, Father.
You are now|joined in marriage,
until death do you part.
Why endorse such a masquerade|in the name of the Church?
Don't talk about sacraments|in such a way.
La Malvilain was living in sin.
It's ridiculous!
Why not let him|have his own business,
working for the Navy?
Captain,|did you have the right...
did you have the right|to allow that wedding?
Yes, I did. Do you have|any doubts about it?
What rights|are you talking about?
We are not in Paris. Technically,|Neel is under my command.
Jeanne-Marie|Malvilain is French,
she wanted paternity|to be established,
and Neel Auguste said|he was the father.
I made the marriage|official
in the context|of our militarys ystem,
however ironic that may sound.
There you go!
My council wouldn't|take my advice,
and refused|to pardon Neel Auguste.
We'll have one more widow|and one more orphan.
the Captain does all he can|to piss us off!
What's wrong, Louis?
I just wanted to tell you...
a ship is arriving.
It's the "Marie-Galante."
It's coming from Martinique,
with "The Widow."
The ship's having problems.
The helm's broken.
- Where's the captain?|- At the harbor.
I'll be back.
What are you doing?
The captain said he did not|want him to be out today.
Did he say to lock him up?
What did he say exactly?
He said he did not|want Neel outside.
Was that a specific order?
No, not really... specific.
So open the door.
He said he wanted...
What my husband wants|is up to me.
Open that door!|And leave us alone!
Captain, the commander|requested our help
to bring his ship to shore.
I thought we could use|your military boats.
Are you declining to help us|with your resources,
knowing that ship is|bringing in "The Widow"?
That's right.
Why don't you go|tell your superiors?
How about helping the sailors?
They can't wait|to reach the shore.
If they can't wait,|why don't they swim to the shore?
Throw "The Widow" to the sea,|and we'll take care of the sailors.
Yes, throw it|to the sea!
Come over here,|please.
The mother was still pregnant|when they left France.
They did not like Martinique,|so here they are.
We had not had|any immigrants for a while.
Welcome to Saint-Pierre!
There you go!
The Council|is expecting you.
Come over here.
Take a seat.
Mr. Chevassus, welcome!
Have you ever been|convicted of any crime?
I don't think so.
Well, have you ever been to jail,|in France or in Martinique?
Your word will be enough.
No.|You have my word.
Good. You need|a good job, Mr. Chevassus.
An easy job|that pays well,
but that requires|dignity and discretion.
A job that will serve|the republic.
Do you want to be|an executioner?
The Governor has little time.
I advice you|to think about it well.
This is|a once in a lifetime offer.
We'll base our decision|on your answer.
Either you can become|an honorable citizen here,
and that is what|we are offering you,
or you are only|requesting asylum.
And unless you have|substantial savings...
Do you have any?|Well, too bad for you.
The customs officer|may consider your case.
Without any savings,|there is no way.
Do you know|much about wood?
- A little.|- That is good.
Gentlemen, let us explain|to Mr. Chevassus
the many material advantages|he'll receive as an executioner,
as a public executioner,
so he can make|an informed decision.
free housing, here in town,
and 2,000 francs.|Here's the detail.
500 to repair|and put the guillotine together,
1000 for the execution,|and 500 to tidy up,
which adds up|to 2,000 francs, right?
That's what it says here|on the paper.
You can ask for an advance,
which will be granted|when you sign your contract,
right now.
So you want it or not?|Tell me before I leave.
You cannot hesitate.
Being an executioner|is a vocation.
Do you want to chop|heads off or not?
And don't even think|of changing your mind.
From now on,|you're an executioner
or a victim,|make your choice.
Good day, gentlemen.
Congratulations,|Mr. Chevassus.
You should be happy,|your husband has found a job.
You are lucky,|your troubles are over.
We are hiring sailors!
We are hiring sailors,
to bring|the Marie-Galanteto shore.
The superintendent|will pay you four francs
per trip from 4:00 a.m.|to afternoon,
and six francs|from 4:00 a.m. to dusk.
That's not well paid.
Go get "The Widow"|yourself!
The announcer|and the officers
can already fill up a boat.
The superintendent
will increase the wage
for both ways.
You'll get six francs|during the day,
and nine francs|after dusk.
What are you doing?|Areyou crazy?
It's for Jeanne-Marie|and the baby.
Neel Auguste,|how many trips?
All of them!
Pauline,|leave him alone now.
Can you go with no sleep?
Put his name down.
Let's go home.|There's nothing else you can do.
Come on, let's go!
- Let's go!|- No!
God might not want us|to get "The Widow."
God isn't the only arbiter.
Excuse me.|Thank you.
"The Widow" is being brought in,|we have an executioner.
That poor man is finally|going to get executed.
I think|we'll all miss him.
My husband wanted to pardon him,|did you not?
- Not at all.|- That's what you kept saying.
I did not want to make|promises we could not keep.
There's a difference.
I agree with you,|we'll miss him.
Our lives will go back|to the same routine.
Life here is going|to be such a bore.
Eugénie, please...
if you're bored,|find an intelligent occupation.
- Pick up crocheting.|- Crocheting?
You obviously don't know|a thing about it!
I am afraid|our wives' opinion
reflects that|of the general population.
Executioner, go to work!
Executioner, go to work!
Children,|never cut off an adult!
See, you agree with us.
Pardon me.
Are you mad at me?
What's going to happen?
I don't know.
- Can you see him?|- No.
Why is he doing that?
It's a shortcut to hell.
He's been rowing for so long,|with nothing to eat or drink.
He's strong enough|to row to Newfoundland.
He could go so far...
so far we'd never|find him again.
28, 29, 30,
31, 32, 33, 34,
35, 36, 3 7, 38, 39...
The ship brought in|some newspapers from Paris.
...42, 43, 44.
You see what kind|of man he's become?
One man gets accused,|another gets punished.
I know.|It's always the case.
Things are not going well|in Paris.
People are rioting...|and being repressed...
...executed even.
How awful.
My command|has completely changed.
They are waiting for you|at the harbor. It's urgent.
I'll be right there.
Make way!
Go away!
Go home!
Don't provoke them.
Don't move!
You idiot!|Whatever happens, don't move!
Go home!|Move away!
A "widow" with no executioner|is just a pile of wood.
Don't fight for a pile of wood!
Come on!|Go home!
You were quite hungry.
Tomorrow we'll bring|your 44 francs to your wife.
You'd be strong enough|to row to Newfoundland.
That awful ship|does not need towing today.
- No.|- The hell with it!
We're going to L'Ileaux Chiens|to give Jeanne-Mariethe money,
and a few other things.
That's good.
What does that look mean?
It's the look of a man|who loves his wife,
and who can read her eyes.
What can you read?
Be cautious, Pauline.
Thank you, Jean.
I hope a storm|wrecks the ship.
You can't wish that|on the sailors.
Quit annoying me|with your good heart!
we have to reconsider|Neel Auguste's case.
His execution|could lead to riots.
What do you mean,|"We have to"?
Who gives you the authority|to come here and threaten us?
Did you get the authority|from headquarters?
Mr. Hugo, whose opinion|you probably respect,
once said that a riot strengthens|the systems it does not overthrow.
If one were to arise,|your men would contain it,
would they not, Captain?
No. I refuse to use force|against the population
or to even threaten it.
Ah... at last,|here we are.
Captain, don't you think|more sentimental motives
led you and your wife
to take that execution|a little too personally?
Does my wifebothe r you?
Keep those remarks|to yourself.
I came to tell you that I refuse|to allow my detachment
to oversee|Neel Auguste's execution.
That's how it will be.|There is no room for negotiation.
Come on...
Captain, the fact that|the condemned was assigned
voluntary public work kept him|available to the justices ystem.
That's all very well.
But only the law dictates|what is legal and what is not.
And you've just stepped out|of the justices ystem.
Seriously so.
And your humanism will|be severely looked down upon,
especially in Paris.
You'll be seen as a rebel,|and even worse.
I don't expect the Council to feel|sorry for me and my future,
and I even allow you to rejoice|and congratulate each other.
Captain, you know what is going on|in Paris these days.
- I know that.|- You can change your mind.
Please.|You're losing yourself.
Thank you, gentlemen,|from the bottom of my heart.
He's done with.
Do you trust me, Neel?
Yes, I do.
Do you love me enough|to obey me, no matter what?
Flee to New foundland.
I will make sure|your wife meets you there.
You are strong enough|to row there.
You have enough to eat|for more than two weeks.
Run!|Save your life!
I can't do that.|No.
"Thank you, Madame La,|you're so nice."
I've had enough of being nice!|Run away!
Wereyou looking for me?
Madame La|didn't tell you anything?
I had escaped.
So why did you come back?
I did not want|to create problems.
Too bad.
Madame La came home alone.
- the condemned was not there.|- He's coming.
Forgive me.|Forgive me, Jean.
Neel did what I said.|He ran away.
Forgive me.|Do you understand?
Do you understand?
All he did was obey you.
Come over here.
I won't take him|to the guillotine.
So it's true?|You accepted?
- I cannot talk about it.|- Of course,
an executioner|does not talk.
And nobody wants to talk|to an executioner.
People won't even|take his money.
What will you do when the locals|know who you are?
everything's working well.
everything comes to us.|No need to go out.
Plus, I'll never make|as much money.
Come with me.
I have to show you something.
Sir, here's the head|you're going to chop off.
Can you hear me?
You're going to cut this neck,|those veins, this throat.
Don't worry, Madame La.
It's not done yet.
You're just like my husband.
You're so fatalistic.
Papa,|the captain's here.
Don't look at him.
Let's act natural|and go on with our picnic.
Forget that man.
Papa, eat!
Don't look at him.
That captain's|got stature.
He's a good rider, too.
I've asked for his repatriation|for serious political reasons.
Political? Ha!
That's enough, Papa!
The rebel is bad-mouthing me|all the way to Paris.
That Madame La and her husband|are fucking around...
Piss off,|Madame! Piss off!
Yes, they are fucking around
with that Neel Auguste,
and I don'teven|dare go out anymore,
afraid that|I might run into the m.
Do you know of what|I accused him in my letter?
Of mutiny.
My God,
you want him executed?|Is that it?
It's a good spot for them.
Oh, you're here.
We're getting ready|for winter.
A military ship|is arriving.
Was that expected?
I'm going|to get ready.
Present... arms!
Captain, your headquarters|demand your return.
Here is Captain Numontier,|who will be replacing you.
Here are the orders.
I can inform you that|we'll take the trip together.
- When will that be?|- Tomorrow or the following day.
Your wife can join us|or travel at a later date.
What would you prefer?
She usually makes|her own decisions.
Come with me.
Captain, I want to talk with you,|man to man.
We'll meet up with the fleet,
and we'll sail the Caribbean|for a few weeks.
Don't expect to be in France|before several months.
In the meantime, your wife|and you yourself will be free
to moveabout at will...|as my personal guests, let's say.
What do you mean,|"We'll be free"?
Give me your word that|you'll make yourself available
until I hand you over
to the disciplinary commission|in Saint-Malo.
The court-martial|will be expecting you.
The cowards of Saint-Pierre|want your ass,
and there public likes|to set precedents.
In France, two officers|are awaiting execution.
When leaders feel threatened,|they become ferocious.
The governor|and the superintendent
asked me|to send a new report.
I just read it.|It's overwhelming.
Thank you for trusting me,|Commandant.
I am truly sorry, Captain.
Who the hell|is that Neel Auguste?
My wife's protégé.
I'd like for him to not hear a word|of this until weare in France.
It's important to me.
You can count on me.|Your word will be enough.
You have it,|Commandant.
I've been dismissed.|They expect me in Paris.
But what...?
How about Neel?
We'll be leaving|in two days.
Did you suffer serious|disciplinary sanctions?
Well, I did not|get promoted...
Tell me, Jean.|Tell me.
We shall see.
It's my...
- It's my fault.|- No.
It's not your fault|if I love you.
I love you|because of who you are.
I wouldn't have wanted you|to act otherwise.
everything's okay.
I'm scared...
I'm scared.|I'm scared.
My love.
Show me your face.
Observe your father|and learn much.
He'll be yours by tonight|or tomorrow.
As soon as he comes back.
Present... arms!
I forgot to tell you.|His name is "Pickled Herring."
At last we'll have|our honeymoon.
"The two boats.
The seashore.
The sound of nightingales.
The pretty meadows."
Neel Auguste|did not have the time
to learn how to read|with ease.
Henever showed|any sign of rebellion.
He probably thought|his crime was unforgivable
and his punishment justified.
"The Widow" did not work,
and Neel Augustehad to be|killed with an axe.
On my command...|eyes front!
Present... arms!
Load your guns!
They can't touch us.
I love you.
My husband was accused|of mutiny,
and executed.
I'll remain|Madame La, his widow,
his wife,
until my last breath.
The public executioner
mysteriously disappeared
not long|after those events.
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