Les eaux mortes tells the story of a petty squabble, the kind found in every village in Québec. To investigate some of the events from her past, the author returns to the village of her youth, St-Léon de Standon. Long ago, Verrault, the priest, had chosen a plot of land for the cemetary, but at the moment of digging the graves became flooded with water from nearby springs. By refusing to change the cemetary's location, he stirred up anger amongst the parishoners. It is said there's been a curse on the village since then. Brigitte Nadeau invites the inhabitants of St-Léon to participate in the reconstruction of this dark past taboo still in the memory of some of the villagers. Nadeau gives them a chance to break their silence.
“This documentary follows the thread of a fatal squabble in Saint-Léon de Standon, a small village in Dorchester County in Quebec. In the early 1940s, some of the village’s residents, out of respect for the dead, fiercely opposed the priest’s decision to open a new cemetery on ground that is flooded every spring. The quarrel went on for several years, and even required the intervention of the Bishop. Blasphemy, rebellion, excommunications followed. Today, many old-timers remember the episode as a curse tied to the many suicides and violent deaths which continue to afflict the village. Brigitte Nadeau, whose brother took his life, returns to the place of her childhood as if to instigate the village to collectively banish its sad fate. Members of the community agreed to speak and to recreate an episode in their history, adding through their not at all credible acting to the feeling of watching a cathartic ceremony”.
HOGEN, Michael D.. «La sélection répertoire», Ici, Montreal, (Octobre 15, 1998), p.16.