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Hot off its very successful run in the 2020 AF French Film Festival, themes of social inequality erupt in Ladj Ly’s fearless Les Misérables, prompting comparisons to other classic hard-hitting dramas such as Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and Mathieu Kassovitz’s Hate (La Haine).
Instead of the 1832 June Rebellion, this film recalls the 2005 riots, which began in Clichy-sous-Bois and spread throughout Paris before reaching Marseille, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Lyon and Lille. Set in the director’s stomping ground of Montfermeil in east Paris – a famed location in Hugo’s novel – Les Misérables follows cop Stéphane (Damien Bonnard, AF FFF19 Opening Night film, The Trouble with You) through his first week on the job as part of a special unit who navigate society's fringes. It’s a trial by fire as he and his corrupt, often violent, colleagues, Chris (Alexis Manenti) and Gwada (Djebril Didier Zonga), face off against the region’s clashing factions of angry teens as tensions boil over. Ready yourself for a riveting ride that throbs with contemporary urgency.
Thursday 27th August
Damien Bonnard, Alexis Manenti, Djebril Didier Zonga
Palace Norton Street, Palace Central, Palace Verona, Palace Byron Bay, Palace James St, Palace Electric Cinema, Palace Raine Square