Hors la vie

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Time Out says

When Patrick Perrault (Girardot), a French photographer covering the war in Beirut, is taken hostage, his life turns into a waking nightmare. Kept blindfold in an airless, initially darkened room, prey to injury, illness and sheer terror, Perrault alternates between simply struggling to survive and trying to persuade the more communicative of his continually changing captors to help him escape. Lebanese director Bagdadi's gripping thriller is exemplary of its kind. Neither flinching from nor sensationalising the violence, humiliation and sordid circumstances of Perrault's ordeal (inspired by the real-life experiences of Roger Auque), the film comes across as frighteningly authentic. The captors are never just faceless villains, but rounded, often sympathetic characters evoking the variety of causes at work in the war. Bagdadi never takes sides or offers easy answers, and Girardot's powerhouse performance renders Perrault's fear remarkably palpable.
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Release details

UK release:

1991

Duration:

97 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Maroun Bagdadi

Cast:

Magdi Machmouchi, Habib Hammoud, Hussein Sbeity, Rafic Ali Ahmad, Hippolyte Girardot, Hassan Farhat

Music:

Nicola Piovani

Production Designer:

Dan Weil

Editor:

Luc Barnier

Cinematography:

Patrick Blossier

Screenwriter:

Maroun Bagdadi

Producer:

Jacques Perrin

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