Louisiana 1. The Color of Blood

“Get married? Never in life, men are so… brutal and boorish! »
An old lady tells her children the story of her family. His story begins at the very beginning of the 19th century. At that time, three categories of citizens cohabited on Louisiana farms: at the top of the pyramid were the men, followed by their wives and daughters, then, at the very bottom, the slaves. The role of the Black remains quite simple: he must work hard and, if he is female, spread his thighs when the master has a little craving. The planters’ wives, for their part, respond to expectations by being pretty and obedient. At the Maubusson plantation, the women nevertheless show solidarity, regardless of the color of their skin.

Léa Chrétien’s screenplay interweaves the feminist fight and that of people of color, to which she adds a touch of fantasy with the intervention of a voodoo witch. Although the subject is not devoid of interest, the intention is annoying. The white male embodies Evil: he exploits, he dominates, he gets drunk and he rapes. The woman appears fair and good and if she resorts to violence, it is because the enemy, namely the patriarch, has deserved it. This binary vision ends up annoying. The reader would have appreciated more fleshed out, ambivalent and multidimensional heroes. The title is also misleading. He suggests that it will be about a society as a whole while the subject depicts the mores of a single clan.

Gontran Toussaint’s realistic drawing translates these sad realities well. His reconstruction of the country of Thomas Jefferson convinces and the sets of New Orleans are successful. The artist seems to enjoy drawing female characters; Joséphine, the protagonist, and her mother, Laurette, are however sometimes difficult to tell apart. A special mention for the revenge scene at the end of the album where executioner and vigilante clash on a board constructed like a checkerboard where blue and ocher squares alternate, to which immediately responds a page presenting a stack of seven narrow strips repeating the same colors.

Slavery and segregation are themes widely addressed, by the ninth art in particular. The bédéphile spontaneously thinks of Wind Passengersat Atar Gold and to Five branches of black cotton. The approach of the authors of Louisiana is distinguished insofar as the tandem makes the trial of racism, but also, and perhaps above all, that of misogyny.

Par J.Milette

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