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Free Men

Les Hommes libres

Directed by Ismaël Ferroukhi

France, 2011

Cornerhouse, 26 May 2012

Free Men

This film focuses on the Moslem resistance to the Nazi occupation of France, the reluctant hero being Younges, a young Algerian.

He starts off as a wheeler-dealer operating in the black market in Paris, but soon he’s saving Jewish children from deportation to the camps, killing German soldiers, dissembling to the French police, executing collaborators, that kind of thing.

Interestingly, the French (Vichy) authorities are the enemy too and there’s the definite suggestion that, for Younges and his comrades, the battles will continue after the war, segueing into the struggle for Algerian independence.

It is an intelligent thriller, there’s a splendid lead performance from Tahar Rahim and Michael Lonsdale is always a watchable actor.  He’s one of those actors who’s almost a guarantor of a good film, Michael Lonsdale, and so it proves here.