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This is a slightly disturbing film for a Francophile like me bearing as it does distinct overtones of intolerance for individual rights. Accountant Gilbert Melki, upright law-abiding citizen, in a stable ten-year marriage with cab-driver Sandrine Kiberlain is stopped my an official as he leaves the Metro smoking a cigarette - there's no suggestion that he was smoking ON the Metro itself or even on the platform; he is, in fact only a few metres from the street - and asked for I.D. Not unnaturally he bridles at this but threatened with the police he acquiesces. A short time later he sees police demanding I.D. in the street and pauses to watch. This doesn't sit well with the police who tell him to 'get lost'. When he persists in hanging around and explaining he is just watching he is arrested and spends a night in the cells without a blanket on a cold night. Released the next morning he asks to see an Inspector in order to complain, is thrown out unceremoniously and when he dares to return he winds up in a psychiatric hospital. It's difficult to know what the French Tourist Board would make of Manu Cau's film but it is certainly food for thought with top-of-the-line performances from Melki and Kiberlain, as you would expect. In fact everyone in this Kafkaesque world turns in fine performances though it's hard to envisage a target audience - it played at the London Film Festival but so far has no English distributor unlike some others that are already playing in London or will open tomorrow or in the next few weeks. My advice: Catch it if you can.
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