• Unrated, 1 hr. 39 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Ismael Ferroukhi
    In Theaters:
    Mar 16, 2012 Limited
    On DVD:
    Sep 24, 2012
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Free Men Reviews

Page 1 of 1
Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

January 28, 2014
Really well done, and an interesting look at Paris under the Nazi heel, especially as the terror strikes Parisian Jews. I found the Islamic music trying, others may not, but the film is a low-key A list French production. Great actors. Great retelling of history.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

April 20, 2014
In occupied France, Younes(Tahar Rahim) works in the black market. During an immigration dragnet, he is arrested while his cousin Ali(Farid Larbi) escapes. Younes is given a choice, either cooperate with the authorities and spy for them or be deported. He chooses to stay and is assigned to infiltrate the mosque presided by Ben Ghabrit(Michael Lonsdale). It is there that Younes encounters Salim(Mahmoud Shalaby), a young singer, using a dabrouka as a calling card.

"Free Men" has a few things going for it, like its unique angle on occupied France, just as nationalism for North Africa was starting to kick into gear with immigrants being pulled in two separate directions at once. But even with a milieu as neat as this one, you need a decent story which is missing here. Plus, the lead character is more than a little lacking.(Whether this is because Younes is only a composite character and Salim and Ben Ghabrit were real people is up for debate.) But then somebody should have told Michael Lonsdale, possibly miscast as he is, that this wasn't his movie, as he steals it simply through the careful application of quiet dignity.
July 25, 2013
Though the director Ismael Ferroukhi somehow fails to grasp the entire atmosphere of Paris during WW2, he succeeds in one thing, which is showing the unexplored story of the participation of Paris Mosque in helping out the French Resistance (and even some Jews and Communists too). That aspect alone makes this movie a worthy watch for history buffs.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

April 20, 2014
In occupied France, Younes(Tahar Rahim) works in the black market. During an immigration dragnet, he is arrested while his cousin Ali(Farid Larbi) escapes. Younes is given a choice, either cooperate with the authorities and spy for them or be deported. He chooses to stay and is assigned to infiltrate the mosque presided by Ben Ghabrit(Michael Lonsdale). It is there that Younes encounters Salim(Mahmoud Shalaby), a young singer, using a dabrouka as a calling card.

"Free Men" has a few things going for it, like its unique angle on occupied France, just as nationalism for North Africa was starting to kick into gear with immigrants being pulled in two separate directions at once. But even with a milieu as neat as this one, you need a decent story which is missing here. Plus, the lead character is more than a little lacking.(Whether this is because Younes is only a composite character and Salim and Ben Ghabrit were real people is up for debate.) But then somebody should have told Michael Lonsdale, possibly miscast as he is, that this wasn't his movie, as he steals it simply through the careful application of quiet dignity.
mark d.
February 19, 2014
The film premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival on 19 May 2011, and was released in France and Belgium on 28 September 2011. The film saw a limited (4 screens) US release on 16 March 2012, and a wider (14 screens) UK release on 25 May 2012.
October 2, 2012
This film is a must see!
Carim L. T. James
June 30, 2012
The film is fantastic, for all the correct reasons the script setting's cast and prop's represent a truly and originally tough time in Paris between world war's. Although some of the script is fantasy it evokes a great meaning which could have been true to the time as such event's would have been very difficult to truly document. The film also represents a true meaning of the happenings for Muslim and Jew families being treated badly and at worst persecuted by Germany occupation in France. However there is some violence, but well worth seeing for an original score and something to watch for a thrilling movie and also true scenario.
Michael H.
February 14, 2012
Certainly interesting, but rarely involving. A story of Muslims in Paris during the German occupation; some of whom are collaborators, some of whom are part of the Resistance, most of whom fall somewhere between. Unfortunately a great deal of the important action occurs off-screen creating more distance from the characters than is good for the movie. Things do get lively for a bit with a Bonnie and Clyde style car chase down a dirt road leading to a showdown in a cornfield. And there are other tense moments where the characters get a chance to show what they're made of but, again, too much happens off-screen.
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