November 15, 2020

When rich and powerful people commit intolerable crimes, how much of the guilt lies with those who tolerate them?

Jill Korn

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Audio dramaConfessional, 202052 minutes

I have always loved the Vendée, the rhythm of its patois and the humour of its people which is ready, witty and vulgar. One Vendéen legend has intrigued me for a long time, and it inspired me to write ‘Confessional’, an audio drama about a fifteenth century super-hero turned child-murderer: the infamous Gilles de Rais, or Bluebeard. This medieval paedophile, doomed to die at the stake, had served under Joan of Arc a decade before to restore the French monarchy. My research took me back to the original trials, recorded verbatim, of both Joan and Gilles, as well as to some of the places where they had lived and died. What began as a fascination with legend and history became an enquiry into the subject of guilt and innocence. The fictional character of Samuel represents all those who preferred not to know the fate of the children who disappeared, apparently without trace. When Samuel is called to account by the mother of one of the victims, he has nothing with which to answer her. In the present time, we know that children are dying every day, needlessly, across the world. If we stay silent, or choose not to see, how.