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 ... See full summary »
A brief extract of four kids' lives somewhere in France. Quentin, who won a writers contest and now pays more attention to his career as an author than to his friends, beautiful Julie, his ... See full summary »
Vassili is an aged prostitute with killer instincts. He finds an unconscious young man in the Forest of Boulogne and takes him home. Now lovers and accomplices, the two men become a couple ... See full summary »
Malik has a lot on his plate when he returns home to Tunisia after living in France. He's processing his father's death, he can't come out to his mother, and his childhood anxieties have ... See full summary »
Paul and Agnes have been going out for quite a while and Agnes is shocked to learn that he'd rather live with two roommates on campus than move in with her. As soon as he meets one of his ... See full summary »
Brady (Sean Hoagland), who will shortly be going away to college, is a shy, introspective 18 year old, who moves to the coastal seaside town of Rock Haven with his overprotective, widowed ... See full summary »
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
For the originality of its content and manner of telling, Gael Morel's "Le Clan" deserves wide art-house distribution. It does, however, need a better English title. Life may be difficult for people in the film, but they are not slaves and make choices that attempt to better their situations, if not always happily. Why not simply "A Clan," since nobody remembers Griffith's second title for "Birth of a Nation," or "Brothers"? Two boys practice a North African "slave dance," but for sport and release.
The tightly edited movie can be thought of as short stories about three brothers and their father. With rapid shifts we keep learning new things about the characters. Sometimes one wonders what went on during a gap, but usually one can figure it out and the dialogue that would have worked it through would have been sentimental and out of character.
One shot of the brothers huddled together watched by their father is difficult to justify realistically, but it works as a symbolic representation. If meanwhile one wants everything spelled out and sweetened, there is the Québec film "C.R.A.Z.Y." The brothers do maintain enormous familiarity. The youngest one, very drunk, is helped by a brother to vomit.
If that's shocking, we have to take it as a fact of the milieu. The banlieux of France have recently been in the news. "Le Clan" goes much further with stories that lead one to care for the characters in the variety of their difficult situations of social derogation, dangerous labour, sexuality, and self-esteem.
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