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Les Neiges du Kilimandjaro (The Snows Of Kilimanjaro)

By the director of “Marius And Jeannette”

Inspired not by the Hemingway novel but by a Victor Hugo poem, the latest from Robert Guédiguian sees him returning to L’Estaque, the working-class Marseille neighbourhood that inspired his Marius et Jeannette. Brimming with passion, humanity and political conviction, the film asks what it means to be socialist in the 21st century. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with laid-off comrades, union rep Michel finds himself jobless, but faces the future with dogged optimism. Then, for their anniversary, he and his wife Marie-Claire are presented with a cash gift and tickets for an African dream holiday. But a shocking event leaves the couple and their circle traumatised, and causes Michel to ponder the nature of solidarity, and on the fact that justice for some can entail deprivation for others. Guédiguian’s L’Estaque cycle revives the regionalist pride of Marcel Pagnol and the socialist humanism of Jean Renoir, and these qualities shine in the best scenes between Guédiguian’s repertory regulars, who exude a rare sense of family intimacy. Some of the characterisation is unapologetically broad – there’s no shortage of cold-eyed bureaucrats and snippy hautes bourgeoises – but this is political storytelling at its most entertaining. – Jonathan Romney, BFI London Film Festival
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Directed by: 
Robert Guédiguian
Running Time: 
French with English Subtitles
Ariane Ascaride, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Gérard Meylan, Marilyne Canto, Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet
Screenplay by: 
Robert Guédiguian, Inspired by a poem by Victor Hugo

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