Monday, April 30, 2007

Indigènes (Days of Glory)

It took me a long while, but finally today I watched this war movie and I have to say that I liked it quite more than I expected. This is no Letters from Iwo Jima, but I have to say that time just flew very fast as I was totally immersed in the story, acting and cinematography. So, if you are like me and dislike war movies, don’t worry this one is an extremely good war movie.

Directed by Rachid Bouchareb tells the story of the men from the French North African colonies that enlist in the French army to liberate their “motherland” from Nazi oppression, but what they find is no tolerance and discrimination from the “real” French officers and army.

This WWII story could be similar to those already told about blacks in the US forces, but what makes this movie distinctive is the extremely good acting, directing, cinematography and fast pace that grabs you into the story. You laugh with the characters and you cry with them.

Most of the actors probably are unknown to us, but I am very familiar with one of the lead characters Jamel Debbouze (plays Saïd Otmari) that is very popular in France for his work in films and TV. I have seen him doing comedy but here, as well as the other four main characters have genuinely outstanding performances.

Nominated for a 2007 Academy Award and the 2007 BFCA Award for best foreign language film; at 2006 Cannes Film Festival won Best Actor for the lead cast ensemble, Bouchareb won the François Chalais Award and the movie was nominated for the Palm d’Or. Other honors include wins and nominations in the César, Lumière Awards, Image Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards.

As is told in the film in 1959 France stopped the pension to men from those colonies that obtained their independence; it is claimed that also because of this film Jacques Chirac authorized the payment again in 2006. Sometimes GOOD movies can turn the world around, isn’t? By good I mean not only telling a story, but make you feel captivated by the story!

If you like to read reviews I suggest you do not read reviews from any American site, most critics miss the epic battles!!! This is human drama with no special effects nor all the Hollywood traditional cliché.


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