Without Honoré De Balzac,whose "Une Ténébreuse Affaire" was loosely inspired by this kidnapping,this footnote in history would only be a news item,if it had not led three innocents to the guillotine.
In 1800,when Bonaparte was Premier consul,senator Clément De Ris was abducted in his desirable mansions by brigands ;non content to grab hold of jewels,gold and silver ,they kidnap the Senator and hold him to ransom.
He will spend some days in captivity before being released by Fouché's henchmen.
This story resembles a detective story ;behind a cock and bull tale ,a plotting is hidden ,and it's Fouché who pulls the strings.The robbery was just a pretext to grab documents dealing with a conspiracy in which Fouché is involved.
Too bad the end of the story is told,first by a voice over (the explosive device) and mainly the iniquitous trial -the movie shows Fouché draw names of royalists from a hat to play the role of the culprits- is not filmed .
Fouché was an extremely repressive man during the Revolution ,then during the Empire when he was at the head of the police...before he betrayed Napoleon in 1814 .His "victim" ,Clément De Ris ,was a coward,an opportunist having a finger in every pie ,and doing nothing to save three totally innocent men from the guillotine.
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