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2019, Amazon Studios, 102 min, France, Dir: Ladj Ly

In the Paris suburb where Victor Hugo set part of his 19th-century magnum opus, French filmmaker Ladj Ly tells an all-too-contemporary tale of crime and community. Inspired by the 2005 riots that set cars ablaze across France, Ly focuses his lens on a trio of police officers whose unorthodox tactics bring them into conflict with local youth. Heightening the tension are a drone’s probing eye and the threat that at any moment racial tensions will flare too high to be contained. Winner of the Prix du Jury at 2019’s Cannes Film Festival, LES MISÉRABLES leverages documentary-style rawness and pulse-quickening momentum to stake its claim as an accomplished thriller concerned with social inequity and its corrosive effect on the rule of law.

2016, Netflix, 105 min, France/ Qatar, Dir: Houda Benyamina

Houda Benyamina won the Camera d'Or prize at Cannes for this hard-hitting feature debut. Streetwise teen Dounia (Oulaya Amamra) and her best friend Maimouna (Déborah Lukumuena) live in an immigrant slum on the outskirts of Paris, with few prospects for the future. The two fall into the orbit of local drug dealer Rebecca (Jisca Kalvanda), whose flashy lifestyle proves as dangerous as it is alluring.

2014, Distrib Films, 95 min, France, Dir: Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger, Samuel Theis

Angélique (a marvelous Angélique Litzenburger) works as a bar hostess at a cabaret on the French-German border. At 60, she still enjoys the nightlife, though fewer men are attracted to her – except for Michel (Joseph Bour), a retired miner who surprises her with a marriage proposal. Winner of the Un Certain Regard Ensemble Prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. In French with English subtitles.

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