- FREE MEN
- (LES HOMMES LIBRES)
- 2011, Ismaël Ferroukhi, France, 99 min.
- With Tahar Rahim, Lubna Azabal
“A worthy and interesting chapter to the tradition of World War II dramas of conscience...Rahim, one of France’s finest young actors, is both subtle and magnetic.”
—A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Based on real characters and events, this stirring, culturally rich Resistance drama is set in the early 1940s, when large numbers of North Africans emigrated to Occupied France. After Younes (Rahim), a cynical black marketeer, is caught by the Nazis, he agrees to spy on the Paris Mosque, suspected of harboring Jewish refugees--an assignment that sparks his political awakening. Tahar Rahim is impressive in his first major role since A PROPHET, but the film is dominated by two charismatic supporting players: veteran Michel Lonsdale (OF GODS AND MEN) as the cagy rector of the mosque, and newcomer Mahmud Shalaby as an electrifying Algerian singing star with a dangerous secret. In French and Arabic with English subtitles. 35mm widescreen. (MR)