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Samba (2014)

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Samba migrated to France ten years ago from Senegal, and has since been plugging away at various lowly jobs. Alice is a senior executive who has recently undergone a burn-out. Both struggle... See full summary »

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(scenario), (scenario) | 3 more credits »
4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Samba Cissé
... Alice
... Walid dit Wilson
... Manu
Issaka Sawadogo ... Jonas Karanoto
... Marcelle
Youngar Fall ... L'oncle Lamouna
Christiane Millet ... Madeleine
Jacqueline Jehanneuf ... Maggy
... Magali dite Gracieuse
Sabine Pakora ... Gracieuse - la gérante du salon
Clotilde Mollet ... Josiane - de l'agence d'intérim
Boubacar Ndiaye ... Un migrant à l'association
Oumar Makalou ... Un migrant à l'association
Roukiata Ouedraogo ... Un migrant à l'association
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Storyline

Samba migrated to France ten years ago from Senegal, and has since been plugging away at various lowly jobs. Alice is a senior executive who has recently undergone a burn-out. Both struggle to get out of their dead-end lives. Samba's willing to do whatever it takes to get working papers, while Alice tries to get her life back on track until fate draws them together. Written by Toronto International Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Gaumont [France] | Official site

Country:

Release Date:

15 October 2014 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Самба  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$39,041, 31 July 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$149,805, 23 August 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Samba is sitting in the Metro waiting for a train, behind him is a poster with the heading 'Pasolini Roma'. This is an advertisement for an exhibition that examined the works of writer and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini and in particular, his interactions with Rome. The exhibition was not limited to his cinema work but also included poetry, politics, his commitment to city life, sex, and friendship. It was held in three cities - Barcelona, Paris and Berlin, with the Paris exhibition at the La Cinémathèque Française running form 16th October 2013 t0 26th January 2014. See more »

Quotes

Alice: Ni le début d'abus.
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Crazy Credits

A continuation of the last scene showing Samba walking through Paris is seen behind the initial credits (till around one-third of the way through the credits). See more »


Soundtracks

Experience
Written by Ludovico Einaudi
Performed by Ludovico Einaudi
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User Reviews

 
Maybe too light-hearted
30 July 2015 | by See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Co-directors Olivier Narache and Eric Toledano delivered one of the best movies of 2012 with The Intouchables, and reunite to adapt a novel from Delphine Coulin. It's another "odd couple" story, this time focusing on Samba (Omar Sy) and Alice (Charlotte Gainsbourg). The familiar blend of drama and comedy is present, and the French immigration process takes a few shots.

Omar Sy exploded on the scene in The Intouchables and again proves what a tremendous screen presence he has. However this time his turn is mostly dramatic, while the bulk of the comedy arrives courtesy of his friend Wilson (played by Tahar Rahim from A Prophet). Ten years ago, Samba immigrated to France from Senegal, and has been sending money home ever since. A police incident leaves Samba in danger of being deported, and he receives help from Alice, an inexperienced immigration worker who is dealing with her own issues … she's a hard core corporate burn out (hide your cell phone fellas!).

Given the subject matter, the film is much funnier and pleasant to watch than one might expect. The actors listed above, along with Izia Higelin as another immigration worker, are all wonderful and interesting to watch as their characters struggle through the hand they've been dealt. Samba and Wilson steal moments of joy while living in constant fear of being discovered, while Alice is borderline depressive and insomniac. She and Samba spend much of the movie in clumsy flirtations while their stressful situations swirl around. It's awkward to watch, but we do find ourselves hoping things work out for each of them.

A very promising opening sequence contrasts the attendees of a high-dollar wedding with the working class of those in the kitchen- of which Samba is one. Unfortunately, this contrast is mostly hinted at for the rest of the film, except for one terrific "back and forth/ him and her" segment. The best guess is that there is an outstanding dramatic story hidden by the overuse of comedy. While the laughs are legitimate and appreciated, the film leaves us feeling a bit empty, given the lack of information and insight we take away in regards to French immigration.


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