Cine Expat: Les Misérables

Regie: Ladj Ly, Frankrijk, 105 MIN, Frans, 16+

Cast: Damien Bonnard, Alexis Manenti, Djebril Zonga, Steve Tientcheu

CineDiner Kaarten

Les Misérables is an explosive police drama about rising ethnic tensions and crime in the poor Parisian neighborhood of Montfermeil. Directed by Ladj Ly, who grew up in this neighborhood.

Brigadier Stéphane Ruiz is a young cop who moves to Paris to be closer of his son after the divorce of his wife. Working in the impoverished suburb of Montfermeil, in the 93th district, where Victor Hugo wrote his famous 1862’s novel “The Miserables”, Ruiz joins the local Anti-Crime Brigade. On patrol with an brigade in the Montfermeil district, he’s surprised by the tensions between the various groups there. He is even less prepared for the corrupt behavior of fellow agents Chris and Gwada. Then the three get involved in an – initially small – conflict that totally escalates. To make matters worse, their actions are filmed by a drone.

Ly’s debut film is not a film adaptation of the famous book of the same name. However, Ly, like Victor Hugo, focuses on the Montfermeil district and the outcasts of contemporary France. The Franco-Malian Ly himself grew up in this neighborhood and outlines the harsh conditions with a lot of empathy and authenticity. Winner of the Jury Prize in Cannes and nominated for an Oscar in the best international film category.