Annecy is no tourist destination for three working-class Algerian brothers and their father, in the months after their mother has died. Marc is deeply troubled: he tries to stiff drug ...
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Laura Jane Coles
Annecy is no tourist destination for three working-class Algerian brothers and their father, in the months after their mother has died. Marc is deeply troubled: he tries to stiff drug dealers and then plots revenge. Christophe is released from jail, lands a job, and must overcome various temptations in order to keep it. Olivier, nearing 18, may be falling in love with Hicham, a young man who constantly practices capoeira on the shores of the lake. Both violence and fraternity are close to the surface of most interactions. How each brother emerges from his challenge comprises the film's drama. Is there any way in which these men can be a family? Written by
I believe this film aspired to tell us something, but I can't say that I discovered it in the course of viewing. To guess along with some other reviewers, perhaps the director wanted to show a realistic depiction of the despair and turmoil in the a family destabilized by the death of a parent and the effect on the survivors? But my question is - what is it about this director's way of telling the story that makes this film unique? Or different? I learn nothing from this film and come away asking 'why was this film made?' Perhaps this film resonates differently in its home market (France?) than in the U.S, but I can understand why most US audiences would be disinterested: the English title :Le Clan" mystifies me - (a translation issue perhaps? whatever - a poor choice for the US market) and besides the uninteresting theme, there is poor story development, gaps in some of the story that leave one groping for "what happened?" and an odd final scene: the ending of the film is just plain strange.
The production team clearly had higher ambitions than an eye-candy film (and the homo-erotic visuals aren't bad) but the subject matter is largely depressing and the story itself poorly developed; i was never drawn into the brother's plight, their individual stories, or a sense of what their lives hold for them in the future. Despite the failures, there is one bright spot in Salim Kericouche, who is excellent, His character plays a friend of the family(Hachim) and it is through his eyes most of the story is told. The sub-plot of Hachim's affair with youngest brother Olivier was well done, but late in the film and inadequately explored. The final scene of the film of Olivier meeting the flying instructor and going into the cabin left me mystified; I'm not sure what it meant (???) I would like to rate this one higher, but I feel a bit generous giving it 4 stars out of a possible 10...
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