Free Men

Set in German-occupied Paris in 1942, Younes, an Algerian black marketer, is arrested by the police and agrees to spy on a Parisian mosque suspected of helping resistance fighters and Jews. Witnessing the horrors of the Nazi regime, Younes stops collaborating to become a freedom fighter.

Loving Without Reason

The movie tells the story of a doctor who raises his friend’s brother in Belgium and the drama that develops when the boy grows up and raises his own family. It is co-written by Thomas Bidegain and Lafosse and is inspired by a riveting true story of a Belgian mother who killed her five children before attempting suicide. [Synopsis courtesy of Filmofilia]

Free Men (Les Hommes Libres)

“Free Men,” based on real events, is about a Muslim Algerian immigrant living in Vichy France, whose unexpected friendship with a Jewish singer inspires him to join the Resistance, and put his own life in danger to save hundreds of Jews in the process.

1942, in German-occupied Paris. Younes, a young unemployed Algerian, earns his living as a black marketeer. Arrested by the French police but given a chance to avoid jail, Younes agrees to spy on the Paris Mosque. The police suspects the Mosque authorities, among which its rector Ben Ghabrit (Michael Lonsdale), of aiding Muslim Resistance agents, as well as helping North African Jews by giving them false certificates. At the Mosque, Younes meets the Algerian singer Salim Halali (Mahmoud Shalaby) and is moved by Salim’s beautiful voice and strong personality. A deep friendship develops, and soon after Younes discovers that Salim is Jewish. In spite of the risks it entails, Younes stops collaborating with the police, and gradually develops from being a politically ignorant immigrant worker into a fully-fledged freedom fighter. [Synopsis courtesy of ComingSoon]

Day of the Falcon

On the Arabian Peninsula in the 1930’s, two warring leaders come face to face. The victorious Nesib, Emir of Hobeika, lays down his peace terms to rival Amar, Sultan of Salmaah. The two men agree that neither can lay claim to the area of no man’s land between them called The Yellow Belt. In return, Nesib adopts Amar’s two boys Saleeh and Auda as a guarantee against invasion. Twelve years later, Saleeh and Auda have grown into young men. Saleeh, the warrior, itches to escape his gilded cage and return to his father’s land. Auda cares only for books and the pursuit of knowledge. One day, their adopted father Nesib is visited by an American from Texas. He tells the Emir that his land is blessed with oil and promises him riches beyond his wildest imagination. Nesib imagines a realm of infinite possibility, a kingdom with roads, schools and hospitals all paid for by the black gold beneath the barren sand. There is only one problem. The precious oil is located in the Yellow Belt.

A Prophet

“The Prophet” is the story of Malik, a young Arab imprisoned because he wouldn’t snitch. At age 18, he arrives in a French prison completely lost. At first, he maintains obedience to the prison’s reigning Corsican mafia, and slowly rises in the ranks, playing a dangerous game of double-crossing the Corsicans, and ultimately destroys his enemies. Following his release six years later, he successfully builds his own empire and is the leader of the Arab mafia and a hero to his community.

The Anarchists

Paris 1899. Corporal Jean Albertini, an orphan of humble origins, is chosen to infiltrate a band of anarchists. For him, it’s a chance to move up the ranks. But forced to compromise without respite, Jean is increasingly divided. On one hand, he delivers incriminating intelligence reports to his superior, Gaspar. On the other, he feels himself developing genuine feelings for the anarchists. [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]

The Cut

German-Turkish director Fatih Akin’s epic drama about one man’s journey through the Ottoman Empire after surviving the 1915 Armenian genocide. Deported from his home in Mardin, young blacksmith Nazareth (Tahar Rahim) moves onwards as a forced laborer. After managing to survive the horrors of the genocide, he hears that his twin daughters are still alive; his hope is revived and he sets off to track them down, his search taking him from the Mesopotamian deserts and Havana to the barren and desolate prairies of North Dakota. On this odyssey, he encounters a range of very different people: angelic and kind-hearted characters, but also the devil incarnate.

Samba

A recent migrant to France (Omar Sy) fights to stay in his adopted country with the help of a rookie immigration worker (Charlotte Gainsbourg), in this winning drama from the directors of the breakout hit Les Intouchables. [Synopsis courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival]

The Past

After four years apart, Ahmad returns to his wife Marie in Paris in order to progress their divorce. During his brief stay, he cannot help noticing the strained relationship between Marie and her daughter Lucie. As he attempts to improve matters between mother and daughter Ahmad unwittingly lifts the lid on a long buried secret…

Grand Central

Gary is young, agile, a quick learner. He’s one of those who’s never been promised anything. After a succession of odd jobs, he’s taken on at a nuclear power plant.
There, amongst the reactors and their high doses of radioactivity, he finally finds what he’s been looking for: money, a team, a family.
But the team also includes Karole, Toni’s wife, with whom he falls in love.
Forbidden love and radiation slowly contaminate Gary. Each day is menacing. [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes]