Geneviève de Brabant
Dir. and actors unknown. P: Pathé Frères. Fr 1907
Filmographie Pathé Number 1756
Genre: Scène féeries et contes
Sortie: Pathé Grolée, Lyon, 12.7.1907 accompagné par Le Souvenir, valse de Delarvelle chantée par Melle Smithson
French and Dutch titles
“Genevieve (also Genoveva or Genovefa) of Brabant is a heroine of medieval legend. Her story is a typical example of the widespread tale of the chaste wife falsely accused and repudiated, generally on the word of a rejected suitor. Genovefa of Brabant was said to be the wife of the palatine Siegfried of Treves, and was falsely accused by the majordomo Golo. Sentenced to death, she was spared by the executioner and lived for six years with her son in a cave in the Ardennes nourished by a roe. Siegfried, who had meanwhile found out Golo’s treachery, was chasing the roe when he discovered her hiding-place, and reinstated her in her former honour. Her story is said to rest on the history of Marie of Brabant, wife of Louis II, Duke of Bavaria and Count Palatine of the Rhine. Marie of Brabant was suspected of infidelity and subsequently tried by her husband, found guilty and beheaded on 18 January 1256. When the verdict was shown to be mistaken, Louis had to do penance for the beheading. The change in name from Marie to Genevieve may be traced back to a cult of St Genevieve, patroness of Paris.
In Marcel Proust’s ‘In Search of Lost Time’, the narrator remembers a magic lantern he had in his room, in Combray, that showed the image of Golo riding his horse towards Genevieve’s castle. He says: ‘… and I would fall into the arms of my mother, whom the misfortunes of Geneviève de Brabant had made all the dearer to me, just as the crimes of Golo had driven me to a more than ordinarily scrupulous examination of my own conscience.'”
1859 premiered ‘Geneviève de Brabant’, Jacques Offenbach’s opera bouffa, in Paris.