Annecy is no tourist destination for three working-class Algerian brothers and their father, in the months after their mother has died. Marc is deeply troubled: he tries to stiff drug ...
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Annecy is no tourist destination for three working-class Algerian brothers and their father, in the months after their mother has died. Marc is deeply troubled: he tries to stiff drug dealers and then plots revenge. Christophe is released from jail, lands a job, and must overcome various temptations in order to keep it. Olivier, nearing 18, may be falling in love with Hicham, a young man who constantly practices capoeira on the shores of the lake. Both violence and fraternity are close to the surface of most interactions. How each brother emerges from his challenge comprises the film's drama. Is there any way in which these men can be a family? Written by
We tend to laud films like American Beauty because they peel away the veneer of idealized American domesticity to reveal lives of quiet desperation. We take comfort in that -- knowing that even seemingly perfect lives are, under the surface, as miserable as we might view our own to be. In Morel's Le Clan (Three Dancing Slaves was the title I saw it under here in the States), we get a truer, less sanitized view of real lives laid bare. The desperation isn't quiet. It's crazed and exposed and all too believable. It's a very masculine film showing how men just do what they do. No apologies and, all too often, no explanations. Yet, somehow, it's relatable and understandable. Yes, it's a slice of pain punctuated with too few moments of what we would call joy. But sprinkled throughout are small glimpses of a more beautiful world. It's not lost on these characters. And it's not lost on the viewer. I found it haunting and heart-wrenching.
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