Director: Mathieu Kassowitz
Cast: Mathieu Kassowitz, Labe Lapacas, Malik Zidi
Genre: Action Drama
Country of Origin: France 2011
Language: French with English subtitles 136 mins.
'It's totally absorbing with Marc Koninickx's superb camera work reviving memories of 'Apocalypse Now' and Klaus Badelt's background music score is quite brilliant'.
In 1988 a group of Kanak separatists stormed a police station in New Caledonia, killed four gendarmes and held thirty hostage. Capitaine Philippe Legorjus (Mathieu Kassovitz) of the GIGN (Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale), a unit charged with counterterrorism and hostage negotiation is sent to lead negotiations with Alphonse Dianou (Labe Lapacas), the head of the hostage takers only to find that three hundred soldiers have been sent from France to restore order. National pride is at stake, there will always be lingering memories of Vietnam (Dien Bien Phu) and Algeria and France is in the midst of a presidential election with President Francoise Mitterand vying with Prime Minister Jacques Chirac for power.
After La Haine, Mathieu Kassowitz's 1995 debut the actor-director is back on form with a tense, gripping and absorbing political drama based on 'La morale et l'action', the 1990 memoir by Philippe Legorjus, a man caught up in events beyond his control, events dictated by politics, nickel wealth on the islands, the naked ambitions of army officers to advance their careers rather than morality, events in a group of islands in the South Pacific ten thousand miles from France.
Ten days later Paris gave the order. It's a betrayal and results is a massacre at a Kanak holy ground, a group of caves around an extinct volcano which if their HQ - two gendarmes and nineteen Kanaks are killed with others executed after capture.
It's a totally absorbing movie with Marc Koninickx's superb camera work reviving memories of 'Apocalypse Now' and Klaus Badelt's background music score is quite brilliant.