Trial of the Arsonist Slave | Bleader

Trial of the Arsonist Slave

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Marie-Joseph Angelique made several attempts to escape from slavery before she was tortured, convicted on circumstantial evidence, and executed in 1734 on charges of setting fire to her masters' house, a blaze that razed much of Montreal.

Haitian-Canadian actress Tetchena Bellange coproduced and starred in a 2009 play examining Angelique's historical legacy, then expanded the play into the 52-minute 2010 documentary Black Hands: Trial of the Arsonist Slave.

Bellange interviews historians about competing interpretations of Angelique's story, and plays Angelique in the film's theatrically stripped-down Dogville-style reenactments.

Black Hands screens in the monthly Black World Cinema series, Thursday 3/3 at 7 p.m. at Chatham 14, 210 W. 87th St. Series programmer Floyd Webb moderates a post-screening discussion. $5.

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