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A cop from the provinces moves to Paris to join the Anti-Crime Brigade of Montfermeil, discovering an underworld where the tensions between the different groups mark the rhythm.
Tensions between violent cops and neighbourhood youth explode in this fiery, Cannes Jury Prize-winning film from director Ladj Ly, who brings the spirit of Victor Hugo to the cultural skirmishes of the Parisian suburbs.
In Montfermeil, where Hugo set his original Les Misérables, a cop newly recruited to the anti-criminal brigade finds himself on a team whose questionable methods lead them into direct conflict with the neighbourhood gangs in their jurisdiction. When a drone camera captures a wrongful police shooting, events boil over into a dramatic clash that threatens to burn the suburb to the ground.
Inspired by the riots of 2005, César nominee and Kourtrajmé collective member Ladj Ly (Speak Up) makes his kinetic feature debut with a powerful, thrilling work that swings between brutal social realism and moments of electric melodrama. Les Misérables critiques systemic corruption and explores the fraught tension between cops and African and Arab teenagers with a sensitivity to the complicated perspectives at play on both sides. (French with English subtitles)
“An exciting, heart-pounding film featuring an astonishing array of street-based set pieces.” – RogerEbert.com
'In modern-day Montfermeil, the setting of Victor Hugo’s novel, the filmmaker Ladj Ly stages his own impassioned cry against oppression.' The NYTimes
'An enthralling, edifying, terrifying, sometimes funny and improbably stirring portrait of a multiethnic, polycultural cauldron.' Wall Street Journal
Academy Award nominee for Best International Film
Winner of 4 Cesar Awards including Best Film (Ladj Ly, Toufik Ayadi, Christophe Barral), Audience Award, Most promising Actor (Aleis Manenti)
European Film Discovery Award - Prix Fipresci 2019 · Ladj Ly
Cannes Jury Prize 2019 · Ladj Ly
Goya Award for Best European Film 2020