The Anarchists

(Les Anarchistes)
(France, 2015, 101 mins, DCP)
North American Premiere
CAST Tahar Rahim, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Swann Arlaud, Guillaume Gouix, Karim Leklou, Sarah Le Picard
PROD Lola Gans
SCR Elie Wajeman, Gaëlle Macé
CAM David Chizallet
ED François Quiqueré
PROD DES Denis Hager
MUS Nicolas Mollard
PROD CO 24 Mai Production


Two of France’s greatest young stars—Tahar Rahim (A Prophet) and Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Colour)—are at the centre of Elie Wajeman’s exhilarating drama about a sensitive, politically dispassionate cop named Jean (Rahim) in Belle Époque Paris tasked with insinuating himself into an anarchist’s cell. Posing as a factory worker, Jean makes contact with Elisée’s (Swann Arlaud) group of idealists, whose idealism goes out the window when they decide to start burgling the homes of the bourgeoisie. But it is Elisée’s girlfriend, Judith (Exarchopoulos), who soon becomes the focus of Jean’s attention, even as he continues to report back to headquarters. As his attraction to Judith—reciprocated—grows, Jean’s loyalties begin to waver…

Other than the two leads, both excellent, the stars of the film are cinematographer David Chizallet, production designer Denis Hager and costumer Anaïs Romand. Together they conjure a vision of Bohemian Paris that is at once stylized, beguilingly beautiful and thematically rich.

"A film that couldn’t be any more French… Tahar Rahim and Adèle Exarchopoulos give standout performances [in this] vastly entertaining police-infiltration thriller that uses fin-de-siècle radicalism as an exquisitely atmospheric backdrop… It cooks up real heat between Rahim and Exarchopoulos, while at the same time reconstructing the turn-of-the-20th-century era in loving detail."—Andrew Pulver, Guardian

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