french films > Gare du Nord

Gare du Nord


Gare du Nord

Review score: * * * * *

cast: Nicole Garcia, Reda Kateb, François Damiens

year: 2013

colour: yes


director: Claire Simon

runtime: 119

Gare du Nord, Paris’s main railway gate to the North and one of the busiest train stations in Europe, represents a French version of the global village in a nutshell. Members of every imaginable human race, colour, ethnic origin and religious faith rub elbows there every day of the week, therefore following them attentively cannot but produce a comprehensive picture of France as it is today.
Reda Kateb is Ismael, a doctoral student researching the station and its various populations, while Nicole Garcia is Mathilde, an academic on the eve of a major operation. As they tentatively fall for each other, they cross paths with the multitudes who make up the station’s daily life: guards, railway workers, shop assistants, street people, a harassed estate agent (Monia Chokri) and a TV presenter (François Damiens) in search of his missing daughter. Simon’s ever-shifting perspective builds up a detailed mosaic of the station as global village, souk and microcosm of Paris itself, in a film at once poetic, political, realist and romantic.



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