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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 246 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

One of the characters mentions reading 'Buck John'. These are a series of western adventures published in France, with the full title 'Buck John le bayard de Far West'. The English versions were published under the title 'Buck Jones' by Cowboy Comics (a Fleetway publication). They are based on the silent movie star, Buck Jones. Prior to his death, he had given permission for his name to be used in a comic book series. The series ran until around 1953 (USA) and was a important source of income for his widow Odille. 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

 
Documented and thrilling
12 November 2005 | by (Montigny-lès-Metz, France) – See all my reviews

"J'ai vu tuer Ben Barka" may not qualify as the masterpiece of the twenty-first century, it is nonetheless well worth seeing.

Its prime quality is its high informative value. Never so much has been said and in such precise details about the Ben Barka case as in this film. The first version, "L'attentat" by Yves Boisset was good but a bit vague and confused, but Le Péron and Saïd Smihi's present effort is as accurate as can be about the facts,protagonists (who bear their real names)and period details. It notably amazed me to learn that people connected with the French movie world had been (unwittingly) involved in this political scandal. I am a film buff but I never knew to this day (or had I forgotten?) that director Georges Franju, writer-director Marguerite Duras, actress Anne-Marie Coffinet had something to do with the abduction and elimination of the Moroccan opposition leader.

Another good point is the choice of Georges Figon as the (dead)narrator. As the man is a shady individual (nervously portrayed by fidgety Charles Berling), confusion first prevails but the story being told three times, it gets clearer and clearer as it unfurls. Costa Gavras would have chosen a white knight figure as a hero, not Serge Le Péron, whose accusatory tone is made all the sharper by apparent ambiguity.

Jean-Pierre Léaud is a stunning Georges Franju depicted as a dreamer a bit cut off from the outside world but Josiane Balasko is only fair as Duras. I personally preferred Jeanne Moreau in "Cet amour-là"

A good quality political thriller, not unworthy of its model of the seventies. Go and see it soon, for the houses which show it are far from packed.


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