France: New movie tells story of Muslim Resistance fighters
Via the Hollywood Reporter:
Free Men (Les Hommes libres) tells the little known story of a handful of Muslim agents who fought for the French Resistance, and who used the Mosque of Paris as the base for operations that included rescuing Jewish fugitives and assassinating Vichy informants. For this reason alone, writer-director Ismael Ferroukhi’s second feature is worth a look, though it’s unfortunately a far too academic affair that never surges with the suspense of many a WWII drama. Despite the presence of stars Tahar Rahim (A Prophet) and Michael Lonsdale (Of Gods and Men), these fighters may have a hard time busting out of Gaul. Pyramide will release locally in late September.
“Inspired by true stories,” as the opening credits claim, Free Men follows the travails of a young Algerian immigrant, Younes (Rahim), who at the start of the film tries to make a dime peddling black market goods during the Nazi occupation. When he’s arrested and threatened with torture or worse, Younes accepts to spy on the elite community hidden with the pristine walls of the Mosque of Paris, whose rector, Ben Ghabrit (Lonsdale), is suspected of providing Jews with false identification papers.