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Les neiges du Kilimandjaro (2011)

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A union pensioner and his wife are robbed, but find that merely getting the assailants brought to justice is not enough for their consciences.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Marie-Claire
...
Michel
Gérard Meylan ...
Raoul
...
Denise
...
Christophe
...
Flo
Adrien Jolivet ...
Gilles
Robinson Stévenin ...
Le commissaire
Karole Rocher ...
La mère de Christophe
...
Agnès
...
Le serveur
Yann Loubatière ...
Jules
...
Martin
Emilie Piponnier ...
Maryse
Raphaël Hidrot ...
Jeannot
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Storyline

At a French shipyard, a trade unionist named Michel deliberately arranges to have himself on the dockworkers' randomly chosen downsizing list to spare another of his fellow workers. While he has his severance package and his friends and family's generosity to ease this sacrifice, this also gets his home invaded and robbed along with his wife and friends. Through pure luck, Michel finds out the identity of one of his assailants, a young worker who was on the same downsizing list himself, and gets him arrested. However, both Michel and his wife find that their vindictive satisfaction is soured by their realization of their assailant's motives and the larger consequences of their revenge. Struggling with their conscience, the couple finds themselves independently trying to live up to their ideals for a greater sense of justice. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

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16 November 2011 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Las nieves del Kilimanjaro  »

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1.85 : 1
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Connections

Features The Triplets of Belleville (2003) See more »

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La marche nuptiale
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (as Félix Mendelssohn)
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User Reviews

 
Art and Life: Thoughts on "The Snows of Kilimanjaro"
16 December 2012 | by (Athens, Greece) – See all my reviews

The question is simple but is far from being rhetorical: Should Art be an imitation of life, or should it be the other way around? The advocates of realism will surely make the first choice. In their view, life is full of ugliness that Art must faithfully portray, with absolutely no recourse to artificial embellishments. Often, the artist cannot even see the difference between realism and pessimism. In the case of cinema, in particular, the audience must leave the theater filled with dark thoughts and feelings of vanity. Happy ending is a taboo, and the positive message is hard to find (since life itself doesn't support it).

On the opposite side of realism, idealism reserves a more noble and ambitious role for Art; namely, to create high standards of thinking and behavior, thus offering psychological, ideological and aesthetic motivation for man to overcome the inherent weaknesses of his/her nature and reach these standards.

Robert Guédiguian's wonderful movie "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" (France, 2011) masterfully balances between these two opposite philosophical trends. On the one hand, there are the hard realities of our time: the economic recession and consequent unemployment, the growing youth resorting to crime, the refutation of the visions of the Left, and the (non-glorious) compromise of the latter with modern neoliberalism where there is no social care for the weak.

On the other hand –and these are the elements progressively dominating the film up to the final catharsis- scenes of incredible beauty parade through the eyes of the viewer, exhibiting a triumph of friendship, humanity, forgiveness, solidarity (a worthy substitute for absent state care)... And, above all, love and togetherness that keep a marriage alive over time and against the difficult challenges of life!

We left the theater full of positive thoughts and feelings. Finally leaving behind the painful memories of sickening movies by Michael Haneke or the Coen brothers...


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