Free men

Free men

DVD - 2012 | French
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In German-occupied Paris, a young unemployed Algerian named Younes earns his living as a black marketeer. Arrested by the French police but given a chance to avoid jail, Younes agrees to spy on the Paris Mosque. The police suspect the Mosque authorities, including its rector Ben Ghabrit, of aiding Muslim resistance agents and helping North African Jews by giving them false certificates.

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k
kpelish
Sep 23, 2017

Little-known story of Algerian immigrants who wound up in limbo during the start of WWII. Unable to return home, an ambitious black market trader slowly gets drawn into world of the unionists, communists, Jews, French resisters, and others fighting fascist Nazis in Pétain/Vichy France. The Paris mosque plays a role in sheltering the resistance. Slow-moving at times and not obvious right away that some of the Algerians fighting wanted freedom not just in France, but also in their own homeland. A couple subtly humorous instances of using the Nazi hierarchy/bureaucratic mindset against the Nazis themselves, including a General greedy for a special medal. NOTE: In French with English subtitles.

h
hecto
Sep 13, 2017

A well meant but badly directed story of Muslim participation in the resistance against the German occupation of Paris, the sub-text being the cruelly disappointed hope that this would lead to the end of colonial rule in French Algeria after the war. The majority of scenes come across as static tableaux, and the 'acting' of the main character (Rahim Tahar) is dreadful. Thank heavens for the presence of that old pro Michael Lonsdale. At least he has great fun playing with a (barely) straight face the high representative of the king of Morocco to the main Paris mosque on the rue Daubenton. Some nice shots of the mosque's courtyard plus some typical Arabic singing exhaust the positive aspects.

s
swedejr
Apr 05, 2016

Muslims providing fake papers to Jews during WW2 in France? You need to get over that to enjoy the turnaround of main character Muslim Younes from a black marketer and spy for the occupied France to a French resistance fighter.

g
garycornell
Jan 22, 2016

A truly amazing film that documents the true story of the Muslim Church helping the Jewish families during World War II. All aspects of the movie are well done. Please put this movie on your must watch list. You won't regret it!

r
Ron@Ottawa
Sep 14, 2014

This film from FilmMovement is a gem. Set in German-occupied France, with a Mosque in Paris as the stage where most events happened, this is a story about a young Algerian Muslin, initially obsessed with making money from the black market and sending it home, slowly getting involved in the underground resistance movement. Well directed and well acted, this film gives me an aspect of war-time Paris that I wouldn't otherwise envisage. In French with subtitles.

harrybrowne Mar 02, 2014

Beautifully done story of the Paris Mosque during the German occupation of Paris. Never knew about this true story and it is another side to the Holocaust that everyone should know: That Muslims helped save Resistance fighters and Jews from death. Music is wonderful and direction is tight and fast-paced.

voisjoe1 Apr 11, 2013

“Free Men” tells the story of undocumented Algerian workers located in Paris during the occupation by Germany in WWII. Tahar Rahim plays Younis, a young Algerian, who sells items on the black market during the German occupation of WWII, so that he can send money home to his relatives in Algeria. His security becomes endangered when he is forced by the Nazi/Nazi collaborators to spy on his fellow Algerian citizens. From this stage the film brings the audience into the French Resistance/union activist /Muslim Mosque, during which dangerous cat and mouse games begin against the occupiers. Not all of the characters survive the brutality of the Nazis.

w
wongsokguan
Dec 28, 2012

This is a side of WWII that has never been portrayed. Of Muslims in Paris protecting Jews. Well done.

m
matcat44
Dec 16, 2012

This is a very good story of unknown (to me) events that took place in Paris during WWII. Muslims helping Jews, Jews relying on and friends with Muslims. highly recommend this DVD.

btmslt Dec 01, 2012

An interesting look at the relations betweenMuslims and Jews during WWII.

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