Ileana Epsztajn, Fred Grivois, Jérémie Guez
Alban Lenoir, Olga Kuryleno, David Murgia, Guillaume Labbé, Sébastien Lalanne, Ben Cura, Michaël Abiteboul, Kevin Layne
Fabien Kourtzer, Mike Kourtzer
Axia Films Inc
Right from the opening minutes, L’INTERVENTION takes us into a school bus that is about to be taken hostage. The year is 1976 and we are in Djibouti, an African country that was the last French colony. In this particularly tense context, France finds itself in a very sensitive situation. Twenty-one children are held in the bus by terrorists, with whom it would be frowned upon to negotiate. Then again, no one wants to see dead kids on the news either. Hence, a special unit of snipers led by Captain Gerval (Alban Lenoir from ANTIGANG, which screened at Fantasia 2016) is called in. After a 30-hour siege, they will only have 15 minutes to do the impossible.
Inspired by real events, L’INTERVENTION quickly establishes itself as a riveting thriller, paired with a time capsule of a difficult period of France’s colonial past. The protagonists of the film, Gerval and his men, are depicted as rather arrogant cowboys, while the terrorists — more specifically independence activists from the Front for the Liberation of the Somali Coast — are presented in a nuanced way, even though the fact that they target children is obviously reprehensible. The most sympathetic character is a teacher (Olga Kurylenko, the Bond Girl in QUANTUM OF SOLACE, who also starred in our opening film last year, DANS LA BRUME) who willingly chooses to become the 22nd hostage of the terrorists in order to try to reassure the kids. Behind the camera, director Fred Grivois expertly builds suspense and uses some stylistic effects (notably split-screen sequences), up until the actual intervention, an action scene that is both realistic and spectacular. You won't forget it anytime soon. – Kevin Laforest
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