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FREE MEN

by Ismaël Ferroukhi

synopsis

In Paris, in 1942. Arrested by the French police, Younes is accused of complicity and threatened with being shot. But the police detective offers him a deal: his freedom in exchange for keeping surveillance over the Paris Mosque, which is suspected of helping Resistance fighters and Jews. In the Mosque, Younes meets Algerian-born singer Salim Halali. Touched by his voice and personality, he becomes friends with him, discovering soon afterwards that he is Jewish. Despite the risks, Younes puts an end to his collaboration with the police. A friendship is born between Younes and Salim, which develops as events unfold. Anti-Jewish laws and German repression don’t prevent Salim from continuing his activities as a singer. But the net gradually tightens around him. One evening, Salim is arrested by the Gestapo who suspect him of hiding his Jewish identity. Faced with this barbarity, immigrant worker Younes, who has no political education, gradually turns into a freedom activist.

international title: Free Men
original title: Les hommes libres
country: France
sales agent: Pyramide International
year: 2011
genre: fiction
directed by: Ismaël Ferroukhi
release date: FR 28/09/2011, BE 28/09/2011, NL 17/11/2011, IE 25/05/2012, UK 25/05/2012
screenplay: Ismaël Ferroukhi, Alain-Michel Blanc
cast: Tahar Rahim, Mahmoud Shalaby, Michael Lonsdale, Christopher Buchholz, Youssef Hajdi, Jean-Pierre Becker
cinematography by: Jérôme Alméras
film editing: Annette Dutertre
art director: Thierry François
music: Armand Amar
producer: Fabienne Vonier
production: Pyramide Productions, France 3 Cinéma
backing: Canal +, Ciné Cinéma, Centre National du Cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC), Acsé, MEDIA Programme, Région Île-de-France, Manon, Coficup, TV5
distributor: Lumière, Pyramide Distribution, Curzon Artificial Eye
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