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From les banlieues to the Oscars: High hopes for French film

Les Miserables, a French film about police brutality set in the banlieues, or suburbs, of Paris is up for an Oscar for the best international feature. Director Ladj Ly, who has made several documentaries, grew up where the film is set, in Montfermeil. The suburb features in Victor Hugo’s famous 1862 novel and is where riots broke out in 2005. More: The…

From les banlieues to the Oscars: High hopes for French film

Les Miserables, a French film about police brutality set in the banlieues, or suburbs, of Paris is up for an Oscar for the best international feature.
Director Ladj Ly, who has made several documentaries, grew up where the film is set, in Montfermeil. The suburb features in Victor Hugo’s famous 1862 novel and is where riots broke out in 2005.
More:

The suburbs: A brief history of French housing estates

La Nouelywood: The banlieues of France

Interrogating the mechanics of power in France through art

Ly’s film, his first fiction, has been widely celebrated by the local community as he prepares for the biggest film event of the year on Sunday – the Academy Awards in Hollywood.
Many of the actors are from the housing estate – non-professionals including activist Almamy Kanoute, who plays an enigmatic owner of a fast-food restaurant to whom police and young people turn for advice.
“For decades, we’ve seen a denial of police violence,” Kanoute told Al Jazeera. “Recently we saw the repression faced by the yellow vest protesters where many discovered police violence. But we have always known about it because today’s repression was refined for years in the suburbs.”

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