80 years ago Jean Moulin, heroic symbol of the Resistance, died after being tortured by the Gestapo. Because he was a child of Béziers, the city decided to dedicate many commemorations to him in 2023. In this historical setting, the play Jean Moulin, Évangile by playwright Jean-Marie Besset, evoking in particular his homosexuality, was initially programmed. But under pressure from the family of the great French resistant, the mayor of Béziers Robert Ménard, took the decision to cancel the performances planned at the theater of Béziers.
The author of the play Jean-Marie Besset, former director of the National Dramatic Center of Montpellier, immediately reacted in the columns of the Midi Libre by expressing his indignation: "I find that this behavior of the family and the elected is not honest, that they seek to hide the truth of the man Moulin, and that they are homophobic prejudices."
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This piece created in 2015 by Jean-Marie Besset has already been performed many times. The playwright defends his originality by stating that "Jean Moulin loved boys and that did not prevent him from being a hero." But if he also admits that this point of Jean Moulin's intimate life is based on "more clues than evidence", he wants to show with his play Jean Moulin, Gospel, how homosexuality had to be hidden 80 years ago.
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Gilbert Benoît, husband of Cécile Escoffier a cousin of the hero of the Resistance, gave the reasons why the family vetoed the performances of Jean-Marie Besset's play: "If Jean Moulin had been homosexual, it would not have been dishonorable, but we like the historical truth." A point that historians will now have to clarify in order to extinguish or revive this controversy.