6.6/10
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Les hommes libres (2011)

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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.

Director:

Ismaël Ferroukhi

Writers:

Ismaël Ferroukhi (screenplay), Alain-Michel Blanc (screenplay)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tahar Rahim ... Younes Ben Daoud
Michael Lonsdale ... Si Kaddour Ben Ghabrit
Mahmud Shalaby ... Salim Halali (as Mahmoud Shalaby)
Lubna Azabal ... Leila
Christopher Buchholz ... Le Major von Ratibor
Farid Larbi Farid Larbi ... Ali
Stéphane Rideau Stéphane Rideau ... Francis
Bruno Fleury Bruno Fleury ... L'inspecteur
François Delaive ... Le chef de la Gestapo
Jean-Pierre Becker Jean-Pierre Becker ... Le policier moustachu
Marie Berto Marie Berto ... Maryvonne
Zakariya Gouram Zakariya Gouram ... Omar
Slimane Dazi ... Larbi
Aïcha Sokrane Aïcha Sokrane ... La mère de Larbi
Djemel Barek Djemel Barek ... Le mari de Maryvonne
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | Arabic

Release Date:

16 March 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Comme nos enfants See more »

Filming Locations:

Morocco See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,080, 18 March 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$53,810, 2 September 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

French visa # 126007. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Soundtracks

El Andalous
Written by Salim Halali
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User Reviews

 
Worth seeing
2 March 2012 | by kpk10See 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.


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