Secret défense (Secrets of State) (2008)

Secret défense (Secrets of State) (2008)





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Movie Info

Two people find their lives taking unexpected turns dictated by the war on terror in this thriller from French writer and director Philippe Haim. Diane (Vahina Giocante) has turned her back on life as a streetwalker and is working towards a new career as an Arabic translator. However, when Diane does poorly on an important exam, she's approached by Alex (Gerard Lanvin), a French intelligence operative, who wants her to become an undercover agent. Once in the field, Diane is soon chasing the minions of terrorist leader Al-Barad (Simon Abkarian) after two fellow agents (Medhi Nebbou and Rachida Brakni) are unable to get to the bottom of a plot to smuggle a powerful bomb into France. Meanwhile, Pierre (Nicolas Duvauchelle) is a dope dealer who is suspected of having ties to terrorists; when he's thrown in jail, he's treated with such brutality that he turns against the French government and begins working with a violent band of Muslim extremists. Secret Defense (aka Secrets of State) also features Aurelien Wiik, Nicolas Marie and Katia Lewkowicz.
Art House & International , Mystery & Suspense
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Simon Abkarian
as Al Barad
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Critic Reviews for Secret défense (Secrets of State)

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Audience Reviews for Secret défense (Secrets of State)


The film has been commonly compared with Ridley Scott's Body of lies and usually critics always considered the US take on the film version of the War of civilizations was better. Well for once I beg to disagree. Even though I enjoyed the inventiveness of Ridley in some of his scenes, the flix itself was really unbearable. On the contrary, this one film is much more realistic, every single actor fits in (which is a small miracle regarding Gérard Lanvin), the main two young actors are excellent and the girl is gorgeous (and naked pretty often). There virtually no aesthetic originality, but there is no major mistake either. But the reason why I really liked the film is the message. Actually it is not even a message, its the underlying spirit of the movie. Unlike Body of lies, you don't have good guys fighting against bad guys with some of the good guys not exactly good and some of the bad not exactly bad. In Secret défense each side is fighting for itself, no need to explain, pure selfishness, no hypocrisy, the one who doesn't fight dies. This aspect is made even clearer by the fact that the main spies explains his commitment to the job by his patriotism. While in America, patriotism is a common notion, usually an idea the good guys keep close to their heart, in France it has clear fascist undertones. So you tend to see to evils fighting it off, the only reason you tend to support on of the two is because there is less chances of this one killing you.

Ben Gui
Ben Gui

Bon polard francais sur les services secrets francais. Rien de bluffant mais tout est solide dans cette production. Mention speciale a Lanvin, carrement credible dans ce role a contre-pied de ses habitudes.

alexandre remy
alexandre remy

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