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Hors la vie (1991)

A French photograher is kidnapped and held hostage in a war-torn Beirut. Slowly but surely his integrity and self-respect is broken.

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Patrick Perrault
Rafik Ali Ahmad ... Walid 'Chief' (as Rafic Ali Ahmad)
Hussein Sbeity ... Omar
Habib Hammoud ... Ali 'Philippe'
Majdi Machmouchi ... Moustapha
Hassan Farhat ... Ahmed 'Frankenstein'
Hassan Zbib ... Fadi
Nabila Zeitouni ... Najat
Hamza Nasrallah ... 'De Niro'
Sami Hawat ... Hassan
Sabrina Leurquin ... Isabelle
Roger Assaf ... Farid
Nidal Al-Askhar ... Khaled's Mother (as Nidal Ashkar)
Fadi Abou Khalil ... (as Fady Abou Khalil)
Ninar Esber
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Storyline

A French photograher is kidnapped and held hostage in a war-torn Beirut. Slowly but surely his integrity and self-respect is broken.

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Drama

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Release Date:

15 May 1991 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Out of Life  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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References Taxi Driver (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Intense story of a hostage in Lebanon
25 August 2011 | by See all my reviews

The first 15 minutes is some of the best modern warfare footage I've seen, expertly showing the insanity of the war in Lebanon.

We follow a French photographer as he documents a war in which everyone is turning on everyone. Then the photographer is kidnapped, and we spend most of the film watching the horrors of life as a hostage.

Scene by scene it's beautifully done. His captors are a very varied bunch, some sympathetic, some psychotic, although we never get to really know any of them, and they do fall into 'types' a bit.

My biggest problem with the film was the lack of a bigger political context. Unlike, for example, 'Four Days in September', we never really understand what the captors want. For a while that Kafka-esque confusion is interesting, but by the end, it makes the film seem a bit limited in vision. The captors almost all seemed childlike, and not very bright. There was a touch of what almost felt like racism, very odd, considering the film-maker is himself Lebanese.

In the end, this was tense and exciting as a docudrama (it was based on a real case), but by not having more scope, just missed the chance to be a truly great film.

That said, it's well worth seeing, and I intend to re-visit it.


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