Following the explosive breakthrough of 1995’s La Haine, actor-director Mathieu Kassovitz largely devoted himself to high-profile genre exercises, both in France and Hollywood. Rebellion may be a genre film of sorts, but it’s also Kassovitz’s most individual – and most uncompromisingly French – work for some time. Based on an incident that occurred in 1988 in the French overseas territory of New Caledonia, in the Pacific, Rebellion stars Kassovitz as Philippe Legorjus, a captain in France’s Gendarmerie Nationale. An experienced negotiator, Legorjus is flown in with his men to Ouvéa, where a group of indigenous Kanak separatists have taken hostages. Legorjus soon finds himself in an untenable position, with the French army treating the crisis as if it were a war situation on hostile soil. Structured as a countdown over ten days, the narrative shows Legorjus’s time running out, as an election approaches and the authorities demand expedient measures. Rebellion offers the nail-biting pleasures of a military action thriller, with bold directorial flourishes, but this is also an intelligent and provocative political drama that marks Kassovitz’s auteur comeback in no uncertain terms. —BFI
As one of the most provocative young directors in France, Mathieu Kassovitz has made a name for himself directing films notable for both the inflammatory subjects they explore and the degree of controversy they incite. Kassovitz’s most celebrated feature, 1995’s La Haine (Hate in the U.S.), generated both critical exaltation and a burst of resentful recognition for its portrayal of racial tensions in Paris. The violence of this film was magnified in Kassovitz’s Assassins, a 1997 film that provoked both raves and rants for its unflinchingly graphic content.
Born in Paris on April 3, 1967, Kassovitz seemed destined for some sort of film career. The son of director Peter Kassovitz, Mathieu made his film debut in his father’s Au Bout du Bout au Banc in 1981. The same year, he appeared in L’Année Prochaine….Si Tout Va Bien with Isabelle Adjani. Kassovitz made his directorial debut ten years later, with Cauchemar Blanc, but it was his 1993 Metisse (also known as Café au Lait) that… read more
Stranissimo oggetto filmico.Kassovitz filma una storia scialba e didascalica sul potere e l'indipendenza ma lo fa con formalismi e un approccio generale da autore coraggioso, che fa quel che vuole e come vuole.Filmare la vegetazione come un soggetto a se stante,in cui gli uomini si muovono come elementi di contorno è cosa che compete e riesce a pochi.Un chiaro Malick sullo sfondo ma anche sprazzi di identità propria.
Interesting telling of a forgotten event that happened just before the French 1988 Presidential elections. What I liked the most about it is the point of view of the main character. Kassovitz is a soldier and never questions his orders as morally reprehensible as they may be. He observes and tries his best. That's the force of Rebellion. Recommended.