Running Time: 102min
Film Year: 2019
Category: Films, Jordan Ressler First Feature Award
Victor Hugo’s 1862 classic novel Les Misérables unforgettably depicted the abject poverty and state violence endured by residents in the Paris suburb Montfermeil, a setting symbolically representing a greater view of French society. Taking Hugo’s title for his fiction feature debut, director Ladj Ly returns to modern-day Montfermeil and finds that the tensions between the racially diversified, impoverished community and the police enforcing the status quo are remarkably similar to the world of Jean Valjean and Hugo’s characters, even more than 150 years later. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
Police officer Stephane, newly reassigned to an anti-crime brigade that patrols Montfermeil, soon finds disturbingly casual abuses of power from the veteran members of the force he has been partnered with. When an investigation into a stolen lion cub from a visiting circus troupe goes quickly and spectacularly wrong, a tremendous wave of violence is unleashed, and the already precarious peace in the neighborhood is tested to a near breaking point.
Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Les Misérables is a timely and bold film that looks unflinchingly at the powder-keg dynamics that fuel social unrest, with insights as valid today as in Hugo’s time.
This screening is sponsored by the Jordan Alexander Ressler Charitable Fund and TV5Monde.
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Saturday October 12th @ 1:30 PM MDC’S TOWER THEATER MIAMI (THEATER 1) Add to Schedule
Director: Ladj Ly
Producer: Toufik Ayadi, Christophe Barral, Alexis Manenti
Screenwriter: Ladj Ly, Giordano Gederlini
Production Company: Amazon
Cinematographer: Julien Poupard
Editor: Flora Volpeliere