The Snows of Kilimanjaro

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French filmmaker Robert Guédiguian and his usual actors are back on their home turf of L’Estaque, just outside Marseille, with a stirring story about Michel (Jean-Pierre Darroussin), a union rep so stalwart in his socialist beliefs that he insists he is made redundant with fellow dockers. But just as Michel is learning to enjoy early retirement, a shocking event occurs that tests not only his own sympathies for his former colleagues but also, eventually, the feelings his friends and family have for him. It’s easy to fault the film for its sentimentality and some contrived plotting, but its insistence on weighing up vengeance and justice, passions and ideals, and responsibility and forgiveness, pays off. The film succeeds as an ethical enquiry and as populist, politically intelligent drama.

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday September 14 2012
Duration: 107 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Robert Guédiguian
Cast: Ariane Ascaride
Jean-Pierre Darroussin
Gérard Meylan

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

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Paul Murphy

A poignant and nuanced look at organised (union) collective versus individual, employed vs unemployed, more comfortable middle-age vs the precarious difficulties for the young today. Warmly recommended.