Dir Ladj Ly
It may have the same title as the oft-filmed Victor Hugo classic but be beware: this a slice of realist French cinema that bursts out with the same vigour, passion and realism as Mathieu Kassovitz’s La Haine which in 1995 also took a look at the racial and cultural volatility in the multi-ethnic housing schemes on the outside of Paris. Director Ladj Ly who has said he was inspired by Kassovitz’s groundbreaking debut as a director, sets the film in Montfermeil where Hugo chose to situate Les Misérables 150 years ago. The springboard for the background was the riots that took place in 2005, although it could equally well be the France of President Macron and the gilets jaunes. Ly wanted the people who have lived in these schemes to have the chance to tell their own stories which gives Les Misérables an unerring sense of authenticity. It is directed with assurance and vitality marking out Ly as a significant new Oscar-nominated talent and winner of best film César earlier this year.
Cast Damien Bonnard, Alexis Manenti, Djebril Zonga
Director Ladj Ly | 2019 | France | 102 mins | Int sales Altitude
“Ladj Ly’s César-winning drama explores life on a poor Paris estate as tensions with the police reach boiling point.”
– The Guardian –