Assigned to work alongside unethical police veterans Chris (Alexis Manenti) and Gwada (Djebril Zonga) in Paris’ Anti-Crime Brigade, Brigadier Stéphane Ruiz (Damien Bonnard) - a recent transplant to the working-class suburb of Montfermeil - struggles to establish a working relationship with influential community leaders while attempting to maintain some semblance of peace between his disreputable team and the citizens of the local housing projects. When what should be a simple arrest goes tragically awry, the three officers must individually reconcile with the aftermath of their actions while angling to keep the neighborhood from retaliating with mob violence.
Beginning as a Cesar-winning short film, the film was inspired by the 2005 riots in Paris. It was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Jury Prize (in a tie with BACURAU) and was selected as France’s entry for Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards.
What the critics say…
“Blood, rage and barricades on the streets of Paris……fleet of foot and fiery of belly, this new Les Mis is an attention-commanding debut from a filmmaker (Mali-born, Ladj Ly) with a finger on his home town’s (Paris) ever-quickening pulse.” - Robbie Colin, Daily Telegraph
“Ladj Ly’s César-winning drama explores life on a poor Paris estate as tensions with the police reach boiling point….this (film) slips stealthily from astute observation to urgent action…..A pulsing electro score by French music project Pink Noise adds sparse yet atmospheric accompaniment” - Mark Kermode, Guardian
“It is the most incendiary crime film to emerge from French cinema since Mathieu
Kassovitz’s La Haine” - Kevin Maher, Times (UK)