9 user 51 critic

Free Men (2011)

Les hommes libres (original title)
Unrated | | Drama, Romance, War | 16 March 2012 (USA)
1:53 | Trailer

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In Paris during WWII, an Algerian immigrant is inspired to join the resistance by his unexpected friendship with a Jewish man.



(screenplay), (screenplay)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Younes Ben Daoud
Si Kaddour Ben Ghabrit
Mahmud Shalaby ...
Salim Halali (as Mahmoud Shalaby)
Le Major von Ratibor
Farid Larbi ...
Stéphane Rideau ...
Bruno Fleury ...
Le chef de la Gestapo
Jean-Pierre Becker ...
Le policier moustachu
Marie Berto ...
Zakariya Gouram ...
Slimane Dazi ...
Aïcha Sokrane ...
La mère de Larbi
Djemel Barek ...
Le mari de Maryvonne


Paris, occupied France, 1942. Younes, an uneducated Algerian immigrant, ekes out a very modest living on the black market. When the police catches him they set him free provided he infiltrates the Paris Mosque and spies on the rector. Si Kaddour Ben Ghabrit is indeed suspected not only of providing false papers to Jews but of harboring some of them as well. Once within the precincts of the Mosque, Younes proves a poor secret agent, which displeases the police inspector in charge of him. In fact, at the mosque, Younes becomes every day more alert to the great tragedy in progress because of the Nazis. He also develops a deep friendship with a singer named Salim Halali. To his amazement, he discovers that Salim is both Jewish and homosexual... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance | War


Unrated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

16 March 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Comme nos enfants  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$9,080 (USA) (16 March 2012)


$53,810 (USA) (31 August 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


French visa # 126007. See more »


When Younes goes to deliver the fake IDs he passes two times by the same old painter on the Seine embankment (timing: 38 min). See more »


Madnak Gafah Maikadoh
Auteur: Ahmed Chawky
Compositeur: Mohamed Abdel Wahab
Avec l'aimable autorisation de le S.D.R.M.
(P) Pyramide Productions
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User Reviews

Worth seeing
2 March 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

FREE MEN was just screened to a sold-out crowd at the Rendez-vous with French Cinema in New York. It was a wonderfully acted, well told fictional film of Arabs helping resistance fighters (including North African Jews) during the German occupation of France during WW2.

Dramatic and suspenseful, pitting collaborators versus resistance fighters, gestapo officials versus the authorities at a mosque.

Given the ethnic tensions in Paris today, this film offers an alternate vision of unity in the face of oppression.

Definitely worth seeing on the festival circuit or in art house release.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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