Les Misérables (2019)

  • Drama, World Cinema
  • 1h 44m

Inspired by the 2005 Paris riots, Ladj Ly’s explosive debut feature won the Jury Prize at Cannes and was France’s entry for Best International Feature Film at the 2020 Oscars. Shot on location and using many first-time actors, Les Misérables is intense, full of energy and a palpable sense of realism and foreboding.

France has won the World Cup, and summer has arrived. The scene should be one of happiness but in tough, impoverished banlieue Montfermeil new arrival Stéphane (Damien Bonnard) immediately meets with trouble in the local anti-crime squad. Working alongside unscrupulous colleagues Chris (Alexis Manenti) and Gwada (Djebril Zonga), Stéphane struggles to maintain order between the local gangs. When an arrest turns unexpectedly violent, all three officers must reckon with the aftermath to keep the neighbourhood from spiralling out of control.

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Ladj Ly