After Téléphone, Noir Désir was France's most popular rock group. Its musical career was abruptly cut short when lead singer Bertrand Cantat "accidentally" killed his then companion, actrice Marie Trintingant, in Vilnius (Lithuania), where she was shooting a made-for-television film. He only wanted to shake her up a bit, according to Cantat, but unfortunately her head came into contact with the heavy metal radiator in their hotel room and she died, presumably while Cantat slept.
This happened in July 2003 and Cantat was tried, found guilty and sentenced in Lithuania to eight years of prison, from which he was conditionally released in late 2007. Marie Tritingant's parents, devastated by her death and what they considered to be overly lenient punishment for Cantat, were not happy when Cantat was let out early for good behavior. Since then, he has quietly pursued his interrupted musical career. But the band's recent "retour sur scène" did not sit well with some observers (myself included). I was not really surprised to hear that the guitarist Serge Teyssot-Gay had decided to leave the group, citing "la situation d'indécence qui caractérise la situation du groupe depuis plusieurs années" in addition to musical, emotional and human discord with Cantat. Ouf! I'm glad someone said it! This statement was followed a day or two later by one from the drummer, who said he was speaking for two other members of the group, announcing the end of Noir Désir.
Did I mention that Bernard Cantat was actually married to or living long term with another woman when he met Marie Tritingnant? Her name was Kristina Rady. In January of this year, she hung herself while Bertrand Cantat slept upstairs in the house they were apparently sharing. She was found by one of the couple's children. If I remember correctly, she stood by her man throughout the aftermath of Marie Tritingnant's death, and even went so far as to state that he had never, ever been phsycially violent with her, though others contested this, insisting that she had complained of physical violence in the past.
The whole thing is incredibly sordid and sad. I don't feel pity for Bertrand Cantat, but I do wonder where one goes from here. How does a person continue on from such a dark place? Is there any possibility of redemption? What kind of Act Three would not be indécent?