Les Neiges du Kilimandjaro (2011)

2012 Étoile d’Or – Winner Best Female Newcomer.
2011 Valladolid International Film Festival – Winners Audience Award, Silver Spike Best Film.

Michel, a voluntary-forced-retired shipyard worker union hero, a big Spider-Man fan, loving husband, father and grandfather, robbed at gunpoint in his own house by two masked men.
With a very big luck, a screenwriter’s luck, he’s able to trace one of the criminal; only to find that the perpetrator is Christophe, his fellow recently laid off worker, a young ‘low-class’ man fighting for family survival by, yes, mugging ‘middle-class’ people, old retirees with good pension money, like Michel himself.
A crime is a crime no matter who you are, but Guédiguian tries to instill this dilemma as Michel and his big ‘socialist’ idealism begins to sympathize with Christophe and, alas, even slightly justifying the crime as an understandable socio-economic problem.
That somehow also happens to Michel’s wife Marie-Claire. She also, out of nowhere, begins to sympathize with the fate of Christophe’s abandoned little brothers, secretly taking care of them behind her husband’s back; but later comments lightly on her daughter’s marital trouble: “Flo, it’s your life. You have to deal with it.”
People don’t become ‘heroes’ by saving other people’s children even when they’re wrong, Monsieur Guédiguian. You become a hero by LISTENING to your own children, EVEN when you think they’re wrong.
And YES, Joe Cocker song is better than crappy French pop songs.

My Rating: 5/10


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