Les Misérables

Les Misérables

Ladj Ly (2019)

104min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing meets Antoine Fuqua's Training Day in Ladj Ly's exceptional, combustible debut feature. Expanded from a 2017 César-nominated short, and set in the same Montfermeil commune where Victor Hugo wrote his 1862 masterpiece, it chronicles a day on the Les Bosquets estate during the aftermath of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. There, Anti-Crime Squad newcomer Stéphane (Damien Bonnard) witnesses a couple (Alexis Manenti and Djebril Zonga) adopting a hard-line approach in pursuing a teenager (Issa Perica) who has stolen a lion cub from a travelling circus. Ly grew up in the self-same neighbourhood, and his insights into the bigotry, poverty and indifference fostering there prove riveting. Comparisons with Mathieu Kassovitz's landmark banlieues drama La Haine are inevitable, but Ly's depiction of the kind of societal disaffection and despair that inevitably erupts into violence feels far more authentic and potent.

Cast & Crew

Brigadier Stéphane Ruiz, dit Pento Damien Bonnard
Chris Alexis Manenti
Gwada Djibril Zonga
Issa Issa Perica
Buzz Al-Hassan Ly
Le Maire Steve Tientcheu
La Pince Nizar Ben Fatma
Director Ladj Ly
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Other Information

Language: French +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Altitude Film DistributionReleased on: 4 Sep 2020