Laborie is a high-flying officer in the French special forces. Her mission is to escort Abedin Nexhep, a godfather of the Albanian mafia. Charged with heading a wide-reaching prostitution ... See full summary »
Florent-Emilio Siri initially wanted to shoot in Kabylie, where the story is set, but gave up on the idea and set his eyes on Morocco when he realized the region didn't have any infrastructure capable of handling a big shoot such as this one. See more »
When the platoon is ambushed, the radio operator reports that they are being fired upon by MG-42s, which are captured German machine guns from the Second World War. These machine guns have a high rate of fire and produce a different sound than that edited into the film. See more »
L'ennemi intime (Intimate Enemies) is a raw picture looking at French conscripts during the Algeria War. It was a war that was fought for 8 years between 1954-1962, it was also a war that France failed to even acknowledged had existed until over three decades later. Pic picks up the thread in 1959 and the focal point is the relationship between Lieutenant Terrien (Benoît Magimel) and Sergent Dougnac (Albert Dupontel). The former is the new guy, idealistic, while the latter is the grizzled and battled scarred veteran.
The Barbarian Hordes.
With the French locked in battle against the Algerian rebels, the film runs the protagonists through the psychological mangler. The horrors of war are born out, with both sides of the conflict depicted with a barbarity that's harrowing in nature. As the pic progresses you can see Terrien being worn down by what he observes, the key being he is losing his idealistic heart. Moral dilemmas are deftly inserted into the screenplay, but disappointingly the political thrum that was driving the conflict is given short shrift.
From an action stand point director and co-writer Florent-Emilio Siri strikes hard, with two particular sequences - one a field of fleeing soldiers and the finale involving air-strikes - outstanding in construction. Siri also knows when to tighten the emotional noose, bringing to us poignant scenes that leave a lump in the throat. Giovanni Fiore Coltellacci's cinematography is also to be applauded, muted colours mingle with stark framing compositions to really give the sense of realism that the screenplay demands and deserves.
Aside from the lack of political basis (we need to know more about this war), the only other real problems with the piece is the conventionality, and that it inevitably is filled with war film stereotypes. However, this is very good film making and the makers bring the story to vivid life, always remaining fascinating and certainly unforgettable. 8/10
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