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Maria Doyle Kennedy
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Julien is a left-leaning student whose politics and love interest end up clashing as the young man makes a long, epic journey through his years at a private school in Paris when Algeria is fighting France for its independence, up to his time spent as a courier for Algeria's National Liberation Front (known by their French acronym, the FLN). While at school, Julien already had a conflict with his good friend Gilles and the right-wing politics that Gilles embraces. This relationship will come to have a crucial bearing on the future, as Julien continues on his path to maturity. Written by
"Liberty belle" is probably most recognized as Juliette Binoche's first film, however fans will be disappointed as the actress makes only a tiny appearance with one line of dialog.
The film itself is a rather dull affair weakened by a rambling narrative and weak central performance.
The film follows young Juian Berg as he becomes involved in the movement against the French led war in Algeria in 1960. However rather than re-create the many marches and sense of exuberant and idealistic youth synonymous with that time, the film instead creates dark scenes of people discussing France's involvement in the conflict and their actions against it.
As Berg, Jerome Zucca is flat, uninspired and his lack of experience shows. Since the film walks or falls on this performance, it flounders due to Zucca's weak acting.
In supporting roles Dominique Lavanant and Andre Dussollier are fine but not in any way exciting... The concept of Pascal Kané's film is one worth exploring, however this film fails to do that.
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