‘Les Misérables’ (2019) – Tension in the Banlieues

‘Les Misérables’ is a 2019 documentary like urban contemporary drama set in the heart of the beating pulse of Paris. The film was directed by Ladj Ly and is a searing observation of racism, class and social division.

The story is based on a real life incident and is set after the 2018 World Cup final. It follows the story of several teenagers who are living in the suburbs – Banlieues. The story is set in Montfermeil and shows the ethnic diversity of the area; this is also where Victor Hugo wrote his famous novel .

The film follows several officers as they go about their routine visits to the area and shows their relationship with the inhabitants of the area.

The film, basically shows the general tension between the police and the inhabitants of the area and it takes one or two minor events which explode into major one for the entire area and suburb to explode. It is shot as a searing documentary style film, which shows the simmering tensions which underlie French society, and specifically Paris.

There are no right or wrongs and the protagonists are trying to do their best in what are difficult circumstances to survive. The film is filled with misunderstandings and missed opportunities for reconciliation before the explosive ending.

Published by Wandering & Travelling

A travel website which shares custom made travel itineraries and also covers the arts and culture.

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