french films > Exiles



cast: Romain Duris, Lubna Azabal, Leila Makhlouf

year: 2004

colour: no


director: Tony Gatlif

runtime: 103

Tired of Paris, Zano suggests to his lover Naima that they travel overland to Algeria, whence his family hailed. Thus begins an odyssey of mutual discovery, betrayal and forgiveness. Once they've crossed to Africa, a distinct darkening of tone makes for an altogether more affecting movie; a shamanistic trance scene, which Gatlift wisely allows to run and run, provides an exhilarating climax. And as in all his best work, the music is both magnificent in itself and crucial to the narrative. Set to an intoxicating score, the heroes' quest for their roots hitchiking to Algeria leads to the uncovering of a painful episode in family history, and is part of a wider journey of discovery. This film undeniably packs a powerful emotional punch. Best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival 2004 Year of release in the UK: 2006


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