A fluid and impassioned account of true events from WWII-era Paris. FM's terse direction, beautiful cinematography, and timorous lead character depict the forces of immigrant culture over bureaucratic fascism. Each balked stare from Younes provides the mirror of the survivor: adaptable, surveiled, and driven. His full character arc is the payoff of FM, and apropos given the current refugee crisis.
Film Movement runs hot and cold with me but this is one of their better offerings. The current refugee crisis in Europe lends an extra layer of poignancy. Solid performances. Tells a side of the story I have not seen before. Contains one truly beautiful moment when Salim finds his father's grave in the Muslim cemetery - a moment that alone is worth the price of admission. Highly highly recommended.
well really, 3.5 stars. well-made, though i found the elements (story, character development, cinematography) rather traditional in tone. tahar rahim is lovely, though in seeing him in this second film (after 'a prophet'), his performance is basically the same: an expressionless face, if still very present and honest. all in all enjoyable, great to know more of this history, amazing music, just not an amazing film.
Younes hardly speaks more than a couple of sentences at a time, leaving Rahim to find ways to communicate through those silent moments. The setting and the music made the film become effective. Overall this had the potential to be great, but just fell short of that.
Muslims, Jews, Nazis..oh my. Good film exploring complicated necessities of survival during war.Character arc of Younes from peddler to resistance fighter trying to rescue those from clutches of evil is captivating. Film is loosely based on fact,its interesting to watch but at times I felt it was trying too hard to incorporate so many stories of varying characters into story. Music fascinating and engrossing.
This is the first time I've ever seen German-occupied France from the perspective of anyone other than white French/German/Americans in a film. The story is told through Younes (Rahim) but he is not the true hero. The title belongs to Benghabrit (Lonsdale) and Salim (Shalaby). Rahim manages to be empathetic and full in a story that is not truly his. Overall this film could have been more involving.