Canadian theatre company hires murderer

Convicted murderer Bertrand Cantat has been hired by a major Montreal theatre company. The French rock star flew into a rage in 2003 and beat his girlfriend, French actress Marie Trintignant (pictured at left), a mother of four and daughter of film icon Jean-Louis Trintignant, to death with his bare hands, punching her 19 times, breaking facial bones and causing brain damage. Cantat was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to seven years in Lithuania where the murder occurred, but was set free in 2007 after serving half his sentence. The convicted killer has been hired to compose the score and sing in the chorus of a production by his friend, playwright/director Wajdi Mouawad, whose play Incendies was made into an Oscar-nominated film. Théâtre du Nouveau Monde director Lorraine Pintal has approved the decision to have Cantat in the production, which will play at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. However, groups working with abused women have denounced the casting, and some theatre-goers have threatened to boycott the show. The theatre is defending its choice, saying Cantat has paid his debt to society and deserves a second chance.

Should a murderer be invited to Canada to perform?

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Andrea • April 7, 2011 @ 5:45 AM

    He should still be in jail for at least another 20 years if not for life. I can’t believe someone who brutally murdered another human is allowed to walk free. And I thought Canada had a lax justice system.

  2. Angie • April 7, 2011 @ 8:44 AM

    How does a murder pay his sentence in half the time nice to know he can get on with his life but hers is done. So if he gets enraged on set and kills another person we will just slap him on the hand and say that was not nice, he needs to pay his full time for what he has done how do you get out early is it for good behavior in my books life is life maybe not the death sentence just life actual life in prison not time off for good behavior.

  3. Cmac • April 7, 2011 @ 9:26 AM

    There is simply no justice in this world. Disgusting.

  4. anne • April 7, 2011 @ 12:32 PM

    This world is one messed up place.
    Yes, he should still be in jail, sicko!!!!
    Some people deserve a second chance, but not people that take the life of another.
    I like to see him get what he dished out,
    feel and see what his actions did to another.

  5. SharonS • April 7, 2011 @ 1:17 PM

    Just goes to show how eff’ed up our Justice system in Canada is. Three and half years for beating a woman to death – a mother of 4 no less.
    The PCs keep trying to change the justice system, making the laws tougher but the Liberals keep shooting it down. They believe in rehab.
    Canada is a great country to be a criminal, the laws are geared towards them and not the victim. It’s an embarrassment.

  6. Gloria Cavacece • April 7, 2011 @ 2:06 PM

    This offence was one of extreme violence. I cannot support Bertrand Cantat’s right to move on by composing the score and singing in the chorus of Incendies, an Oscar-nominated film. This involvement leaves Bertrand in a position of trust where it is even more likely that he will be interacting with unsuspecting women, and due to the added psychological stress of being in the media it is probable that he would commit a similar offence. This would be as reasonable as allowing a pedifile to work in a school upon his release from prison, after all, he to has completed his sentence. THINK ABOUT IT!!!

  7. Vicky • April 7, 2011 @ 2:37 PM

    Just want to point out to SharonS that the crime occurred in Lithuana and not Canada and he served his time there. So it was not Canadian law that did wrong….however, I do agree that he should not be free after 4 years.

  8. peanut butter • April 7, 2011 @ 3:38 PM

    I do not believe it’s really an insult to anybody, but I also don’t believe he has paid his debt to society, nor do I believe as a convicted felon he should be allowed into our country. He should be deported back to his country of orgin (France, near as I can tell) and forced to stay there, unwelcomed in anyother country. The fact he killed another human being, reguardless as to how or why, is reason enough to restrict him to his home country.

  9. trebor • April 7, 2011 @ 3:41 PM

    This guy is scum! He should of got life for 2nd degree muder. What the hell kind of a country is Lithuana anyway!

  10. anonymous2 • April 7, 2011 @ 4:19 PM

    They deport some good people back to their countries and they let a convicted criminal stay.It’s crazy.

  11. Anne • April 7, 2011 @ 5:08 PM

    “The theatre is defending its choice, saying Cantat has paid his debt to society and deserves a second chance.” He definitely has NOT paid his debt to society, and what second chance is Marie Trintignant getting. The theatre is only thinking of itself, nothing else. It’s unbelievable!

  12. john • April 7, 2011 @ 5:20 PM

    how did he get into Canada???? we take in convicted murderers now?

  13. Tayderhead • April 7, 2011 @ 5:41 PM

    Good point John, how the h*&^ do these nobody’s get into Canada? Also, before we all blame Canada’s ways in regards to the attitude toward this d**kwad having served his time, look at the name of his friend who gave him the part…….playwright/director Wajdi Mouawad, that doesn’t sound like an oh-so-Canadian name to me, it sounds like it belongs to someone from one of those countries that have no or little regard for women at all, so surely, snuffing out the life of a woman would be a very trivial event to someone from such a culture, would it not?? Boycotting this performance would be a great idea. I hope the women’s groups march with big signs in front of any theatre running it.

  14. jay • April 7, 2011 @ 5:53 PM

    wtf. this is bs.he sud b in jail for life. he murdered his wife.

  15. Thibz • April 7, 2011 @ 6:26 PM


  16. mandee • April 7, 2011 @ 7:15 PM

    well, my opinion is almost the same as everyone elses. i do agree he did not serve the amount of time he should have (although, i am an eye for an eye kinda person, so i believe he should have been beaten to death) but we really have no say in whether or not he works again and if he does WHERE he works. first of all, we dont know all sides to the story (now, im not saying she DESERVED to die or be beaten, so dont take that the wrong way) but there is always different sides. also, we have no idea what he did while he was in prison to make them think he was rehabilitated, maybe he really has changed. not that that is any consolation to his poor victim.

    now, i disagree with sending them all back to their own countries, canada has lots of its own murderers that have left to live in other places, can you canadians honestly say you would rather have our pedophiles and murderers living right here at home? i think there should be a designated country that is specifically for criminals ONLY and thats where EVERY criminal should live, that way they can off each other instead of the innocent.

    now, on the topic of him being out of prison and moving on with his life, the only other one that comes to mind that sickens me to my core (because i am not current with murderers) is karla halmolka. can any of you believe she moved in with a man and HAD A BABY ?!?!?!?!?!?! how do you allow someone that murdered OTHER PEOPLES BABIES including her OWN sister to have a child of their own ?!?! she more than likely is ALSO working to support herself and her child, im not saying she has no right making money and living, but come on.

  17. Jessica • April 7, 2011 @ 7:47 PM

    i admit it is sick. and i for one won’t go and see this play.
    he was jailed in Lithuania….and he’s only here for work…he’s not moving here. I doubt the government gave him anything more than a work visa….he wouldn’t have been able to get in the states…my ex couldn’t get in there even though all he had was an assault charge

  18. Thibz • April 7, 2011 @ 8:09 PM

    ok any person who commited a murder should not be aloud in this country. What if he commits again? Its amazes me how he ever obtained a work visa with his extreme criminal record!! he should be serving full sentence there is no excuse for early parol.

  19. Bernstein • April 7, 2011 @ 8:39 PM

    I can’t beleive they allow someone like that in Canada after the disgusting crime he commited. There is no justice, he should be serving a life sentence. Perhaps carma will catch up to him when the orphan children of the woman he killed grow up. To Tayderhead.. what exactly is a canadian sounding name? Reading your comment fill with prejudice and blantant attempt to progate eroneous stereotypes is just pathetic. But ignorance is ignorance.

  20. Sandy • April 7, 2011 @ 8:45 PM

    This is pathetic. Four years? Canada should be ashamed for supporting this injustice. This man should either be in prison for life or submitted to the Hell he provided his girlfriend. Forgiveness is one thing, this is something completely different – this feels more like turning and looking the other way when someone has done something wrong because its inconvenient to stand up to it.

  21. actress003 • April 7, 2011 @ 8:51 PM

    That’s just unbelieveable!! how disgusting and repulsive to hear that in the theatre community, as an artist I am shocked and outraged…and the irony the arts are about passion and love and a desire to please…well this guy pleased himself alright!! forget the poor victim and her family~~ what to see the KILLER in lights! what does that say about our society… It’s unreal how people who do hideous acts get the GREEN LIGHT and others who DESERVE the spotlight…and are actors!! not crimminals deserve that chance…I would BOYCOTT that show…geeezzz where do you draw the line

  22. TLS • April 7, 2011 @ 8:52 PM

    This is disgusting…I’m embarrassed to be a Canadian right now!!! I suppose if the victim was a sister or daughter or mother of these IDIOTS who hired him,maybe they’d have a different opinion.I am literally sick to my stomach at how F’ed up this world has become!! He will NEVER have paid his dues…EVER! If I lived near Ottawa I’d be on the frontline to boycott this show,I could care less how NOMINATED it is…and I’m passing this on to everyone I know.I hope it gets shut down immediately…anyone with any morals will know this is despicable!! My heart goes out to this poor woman’s children & family <3

  23. Thibz • April 7, 2011 @ 9:25 PM

    I say BOYCOTTING this would a great idea. In fact i think a petition should be started to prevent this sick f**k from coming here. Its not an insult to battered women and families but also to our level of acceptance to criminals in this catagory. What kind of message is Canada sending out when they alow a murderer in the country. The only message i see is ignorance.

  24. Thibz • April 7, 2011 @ 9:25 PM

    i ment to say it is an insult to battered women and families.

  25. John • April 7, 2011 @ 11:35 PM

    To all the Canadian readers:
    There is an election coming up. Perhaps you could write to the current MP and ask WTF is going on and how this convicted murderer is getting permission to work and live in Canada, for at least the duration of the production. I know I’m curious.

  26. Pat Pettie • April 7, 2011 @ 11:48 PM

    I found our Canadian justice is so unjust. In 1986 when Jimmy Pattison’s (the owner of Save On Supermarket) daughter was kidnapped. She was released after the ransom was paid. The police able to catch the idiots who kidnapped her. The 2 or 3 idiots were sentenced to 25 years straight with no paroll. Now, this guy killed his girl friend with his bare hand, able to get out in few years, it is an insult to the family of the victim. I am very upset, I think our justice system will change after one of the judge’s family was killed, otherwise it will remain ridiculous.

  27. MP • April 8, 2011 @ 12:17 AM

    dispicable! I wonder how his supporters would feel about OJ simpson or some other psychotic wife-murderer coming back on the scene for a second chance! I get the idea of ppl getting second chances but there ought to be exceptions! imagine the intense rage of this man to be able to beat the crap out of this poor woman with his bare hands! never stopping to notice that she was at some point almost dead–and then died!

  28. Sum1 • April 8, 2011 @ 12:34 AM

    Why would Canada lend even a work visa to a insane person with such a severe criminal record?
    A guy who can hit his beloved girl friend to comma on a merely on the issue of issue of infidelity and keeping double relationship with him and her ex-husband, has a serious ego and psychological problem.
    Height of injustice is just because he was a famous French rock songwriter of Black Desire, French prison released him in 3 1/2 years.
    And just that he would bring good business to Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, director Lorraine Pintal, Wajdi and Ottawa National Arts Centre, his criminal record can be ignored ?

  29. mandee • April 8, 2011 @ 4:45 AM

    Pat Pettie on April 7, 2011 11:48 PM huh, thats interesting. i dont follow the news because i dont really want to know who is doing what to who, and i dont read what happened in the past for the same reason. although you make really good points, and i do agree with you, i dont think if a judges child or family member was killed that it would change the laws. yes THAT murderer would get worse for his/her crimes, but that would be where it stops. people dont really care about other people anymore and its sad that any judge would think someones taking life was only worth 7 years (and then cut it short because HEY, he IS clearly a good person, right? its been 3 and a half years, surely he has learned not to beat his next girlfriend to death)….well, she WAS someones baby, she should have been treated the same as one would treat their own child, she should have received the sentence the judge would have passed down to someone that murdered THEIR child. i also dont think the judge considered the nature of the crime, its not like he shot her, or accidentally killed her, or hit her really hard once in the head and she died, he went out of his way to brutally BEAT her until she DIED…its viscous and much worse than if he killed her in some other way.

  30. mandee • April 8, 2011 @ 4:46 AM

    oops someone taking someones life was only worth 7 years *** and once ON the head **

  31. peg h • April 8, 2011 @ 7:04 AM

    I live here and believe me some of the thinks that are country does just makes me sick.We don’t have any back bone to stop half of what is going on and people b and never do any thing about it oh it is ok and then it is to late they b and b and wonder way are country is such a cream buff.Oh come to Canada we will give you all you want because it is so true.

  32. D • April 8, 2011 @ 9:57 AM

    Interesting choice I would say. Leave it to the arts to challenge society and cause a stir which is always a good thing from time to time. Saying that, I do agree that Canada can be a lot tougher with some things. If you think about it, if it were a woman though instead of a man who did the crime there would be less uproar about it. This is quite the stir I say. I think if he served the full sentence it would be a little easier to accept this. At let him pay the full price until he can come back. Geez.

  33. Tayderhead • April 8, 2011 @ 11:42 AM

    Canada’s justice system is way too lax. Canada harbours terrorists and criminals in every shape and form, being proud to call them Canadians and granting citizenship status. Criminals should never be getting any work visa’s over here to say the least. Some of the most honest, hard working citizens can often not even find a job. I’m a Canadian but I know that the United States is smart enough to not let anyone across its border without a visa and if anyone from here or anywhere else has even so much as a shoplifting charge with a criminal record they won’t be allowed across their borders and certainly not given any working visas. Canadians can no longer go shopping into the States now without a passport and I believe you don’t get over there now with a criminal record. Correct me if I’m wrong. Canada on the other hand welcomes them all with open arms. Our government is run by wimps. I agree Mandee, OJ Simpson wouldn’t be getting away with making movies after doing basically the same thing as this d**kwad has done.

  34. LC • April 8, 2011 @ 9:49 PM

    Three years for taking a life…and some people get incarcerated for longer for less serious crimes. Rediculous.

  35. J. • April 9, 2011 @ 2:00 AM

    Go to for the updated story. Thankfully, Cantat will not be allowed into Canada.

    I think it’s disgusting that the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde’s director even considered having him in Wajdi Mouawad’s play. I guess it was for ‘shock value.’

    I don’t understand how Wajdi Mouawad can be friends with a convicted murderer either. It’s ironic since Incendies deals with violence and rape.

    Cantat should still be in prison, not free to perform. He’s been performing in France since his release.

  36. dealwithhisdealwithyours • April 9, 2011 @ 1:03 PM

    The fact that he got manslaughter for punching her in the face until she died of the injuries is ridiculous.

  37. Rudolph Ransom • April 9, 2011 @ 5:29 PM

    Welcome to Canada. to home of the Free convicts, land of the criminals. and country of the laws against victims!

  38. nadine • April 10, 2011 @ 1:54 PM

    why isnt he in jail? canada shouldnever let murderers into the country.

  39. C-Dub • April 11, 2011 @ 9:47 PM

    Actually he DIDN’T pay his debt to society, he only paid half of it…and Lithuania’s half. In Canada it would have been longer debt. Either way, if they gave him a chance, then good for the theatre company for giving a guy a second chance. SOME people deserve it. BUT on the other hand brutally beating your lover/wife or whatever is totally uncalled for, there is ZERO reason for that. Turn around and walk away.

    Thank you ‘J.’ for: Go to for the updated story. Thankfully, Cantat will not be allowed into Canada. People need full story.

  40. Thibz • April 12, 2011 @ 6:23 AM

    Great news. Im glad hes been denied access to Canada.

  41. Dee • April 21, 2011 @ 4:41 PM

    The director cast and people of the Theatre Nouveau Monde and playwrite Wajdi Mouawad who are in solidarity with the heinous murderer, Cantat, are guilty themselves of condoning brutality against women since they are indeed protesting Cantat’s absence from the play. What are they thinking? Where is their solidarity and compassion for this beaten woman and her 4 motherless children? That’s what truly is inconceivable in this story. That theatre people support the killer of the daughter of a great actor. Cantat should have gotten 25 years and no second chance. He’s a grown man who should be aware of right and wrong. You take a life( and brutally too ) you pay with your life-at least your freedom for a very very long time.I say BOYCOTT the play.Those people are twisted.

  42. Nora from Transylvania • September 26, 2014 @ 7:33 AM

    Why don’t you just let the guy in peace!!! He is a great musician!Why would he be treated like an ordinary killer!!??He didn’t want to do that!! He can’t be considered as a killer,it was an accident.
    It’s very easy to talk about,but why to reduce his art to zero?????To force him to stay hidden or to shut up and not doing anything?????
    This is ridiculous!!! If he is a great artist,let him in peace to follow his vocation.
    You are all twisted and not the others who are giving Cantat the chance to follow his destiny.
    Anyway there are a lot of killers who don’t get 25 years in prison even if they are good for nothing..

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