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I Saw Ben Barka Get Killed (2005)
"J'ai vu tuer Ben Barka" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  2 November 2005 (France)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 248 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 15 critic

My name is Georges Figon. Okay I'm dead but, being the talkative kind, death isn't going to stop me from speaking. Yes, I'm a shady individual. Sure I have links with the underworld and ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
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Fabienne Babe ...
Anne-Marie Coffinet
...
Azize Kabouche ...
Chtouki
François Hadji-Lazaro ...
Le Ny
Jean-Marie Winling ...
Maître Pierre Lemarchand
Franck Tiozzo ...
Jo Prestia ...
Dubail
José María Blanco ...
Juge
Georges Bigot ...
Rony Kramer ...
Xavier Serrat ...
Voitot
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Storyline

My name is Georges Figon. Okay I'm dead but, being the talkative kind, death isn't going to stop me from speaking. Yes, I'm a shady individual. Sure I have links with the underworld and other dark forces. But luring Ben Barka, the Moroccan opposition leader, into a trap was mainly an opportunity for me to become a great movie producer. Nothing political about it. Just the big money. And my girlfriend, actress Anne-Marie Coffinet, will become a star thanks to me. I have already been able to sign Georges Franju as the director,Marguerite Duras as the scriptwriter and Ben Barka as the technical advisor of a film that will never be. What I didn't know is that I had hired the Grim Reaper as the Nemesis... Written by Guy Bellinger

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Drama

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Release Date:

2 November 2005 (France)  »

Also Known As:

El asunto Ben Barka  »

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(uncut)

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Visa d'exploitation en France #110776. See more »

Goofs

When Figon shows Anne-Marie his gun, the position of his hand on the gun varies depending up whether the shot is from her point of view or his. See more »

Connections

Features The Mad Masters (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Would-be film producer Berling tells story of the disappearance and death of Ben Barka
14 November 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Mehdi Ben Barka was a 45-year old Moroccan politician who was abducted on Oct. 29, 1965 in front of the Brasserie Lip on Boulevard St. Germain by two French agents. He never was seen or heard from thereafter.

One may look upon "I Saw Ben Barka Killed" as a suspenseful political noir that attempts to weave all the known facts into a plausible reconstruction of the actual events surrounding this murder. It will help in appreciating the film to understand its factual basis and the close historical relations between France and the North African lands that it colonized in north and west Africa, such as Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria.

It is known that the assassination plot was led by Muhammed Oufkir who was Morocco's Minister of the Interior and Head of Secret Services. He was tried and convicted in absentia. In 1972 he died as a result of a coup attempt. Other participants have died or been killed off. The French have not opened their files on this case.

An earlier more fictionalized version of these events is "L'Attentat" (The Assassination), which is also a very good film with a top-notch cast but one that should be seen in its nearly two-hour version.

This version focuses more on Berling's character and far less on Barka's character as in "L'Attentat". Berling is an ex-con who is a fast-talking nervous sort of fellow who has made contacts in the movie business as a film producer. He becomes a pawn in Oufkir's plot to abduct Barka. The story is told in such a way that, unless one knows what it's about at the outset, one is plunged into a bit of a maelstrom of Berling's life, his contacts and his acquaintances. One of the outstanding characters is that of Jean-Pierre Leaud, playing the director Georges Franju, who thinks he is to be directing a film about colonization. Berling's entourage includes an actress that he butters up, a screenwriter, some heavies, and Ben Barka as technical adviser. Berling is very much concerned with money and then saving his skin as the situation he is in spins out of control.

Political conspiracy, as in "The Parallax View", is often an ingredient in political noirs. People find themselves trapped in situations beyond their control, and then they struggle against unknown forces, often without any success.

This movie is told in a fractionated way that places us as viewers somewhat in the same confused position as Berling's character. It will hold up and be intriguing with multiple viewings.


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