ze lighter side of ze immigrant integration debate

December 1st I saw this movie which was big fun, very clever and totally well made, like, in its flawless acting, editing, directing, photography and the like. Closer to JiPi Jeunet (now a fantastique protester against the arms trade) than to Leigh Loach & co. No easy laughs and no cumbersome agenda either, but refined satire. And what with the “selfmade director” rumours, Nabil Ben Yadir, almost comes across as a present day Claude Faraldo. Moreover, he’s just one of a roster of new Bruxellois directors with maghreb-mediterranean roots (as discovered through the magnificent Brussel Deze Week weekly newspaper, links listed below).

A present day re-invention of Fellini’s “i Vitelloni” (1953), “les Barons” is a must see, if only for the way it does and does not touch upon subjects. After all, polarising what can not easily be resolved in the short term leads nowhere, just makes us lose precious time in the long run, whereas gently advocating issues to find more common ground for future debate, well that’s always been the way to get some emancipating done, hasn’t it? Cf. our own fifties or how the (long standing) agenda of http://www.niputesnisoumises.be/ (or dot com) isn’t about specific racial roots but about universal rights. And that’s all I’m going to say about it, because the film deserves to be seen with an open mind set for having a good laugh (especially at the Flemish and the arty farty, cf. the crocus flower sketch). Do sit out the end titles, too, for another self effacing gag after the credits.

Trailer with subtitles (a great feature in YT, do use it):

eh pardon me, I mean:

This is fine too, a taster they used to get further financing, apparently (no subtitles, sadly):

For interviews with the director, google away or check this here lenghty interview (the kind you can only dream of seeing on national tv’s mediocre formats these days):
http://www.brusselnieuws.be/multimedia/video/polspoel-nabil-ben-yadir

And here’s some further reading (with or without the aid of Google translate):
http://levif.rnews.be/actualite/culture/72-61-42029/les-barons.html#
http://www.brusselnieuws.be/artikels/cultuur/ambities-van-een-filmmaker-nabil-ben-yadir/
http://www.brusselnieuws.be/artikels/cultuur/ambities-van-een-filmmaker-taylan-barman/
http://www.brusselnieuws.be/artikels/cultuur/ambities-van-een-filmmaker-mourad-boucif/
http://www.brusselnieuws.be/artikels/stadsleven/mohamed-amin-cineast-tussen-twee-culturen/ (have I mentioned yet I totally dig BruDW?)

Oh and while I have your attention, might I also advise you to keep a regular eye out for Cinema Nova’s excellent programmation ànd blog? For instance, here’s what they wrote (i.e. compiled to the max) on a recent French-Algerian film: http://blog.nova-cinema.org/tag/dernier-maquis … And now I’m off to see some Kechiche ;-) … I’ll leave you with this trailer of Fellini’s Bildungsfilm “i Vitelloni” (sadly it doesn’t do the film justice):
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