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Free Men (12A)

Free Men (12A)

Drama, War

In Paris during WWII, an Algerian immigrant is inspired to join the resistance by his unexpected friendship with a Jewish man.

More information on this production is available at

The critical consensus

Unfortunately, director Ismaël Ferroukhi’s film is let down somewhat by a lack of dramatic tension and a protagonist not fleshed out enough to engender the audience’s sympathy.

***(*)(*)Miles Fielder, The List, 11/05/2012

Modest in both budget and impact, it’s nonetheless intelligently executed.

***(*)(*)Tom Dawson, Total Film, 15/05/2012

Ismaël Ferroukhi’s picture could do with tighter plotting, while the secondary characters are a bit underwritten, but Rahim reasserts himself as a compelling actor after the stilted nonsense of Black Gold.

***(*)(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 20/05/2012

Michael Lonsdale provides his usual elegant, elder statesman turn, this time as a religious leader, but it's Rahim's performance that grabs the attention and never lets go.

****(*)Alison Rowat, The Herald, 24/05/2012

It’s really A Prophet star Tahar Rahim’s ability to command the screen with few words that makes this slow-burning tale more engaging than it would otherwise have been.

***(*)(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 24/05/2012

We weren’t expecting The Sorrow and the Pity, but stronger emphasis on historical truth would shore up this admirable revisionist fable.

***(*)(*)Adam Woodward, Little White Lies, 24/05/2012

The atmosphere of suspicion is well-handled, all the same, and its foreshadowing of a later Algerian struggle with the mother country is poignant.

***(*)(*)Anthony Quinn, The Independent, 25/05/2012

The tension doesn't grip as it should, but it's a worthwhile reminder of a moment of Muslim-Jewish co-operation.

***(*)(*)Steve Rose, The Guardian, 24/05/2012

Much like the recent spate of war films such as Army of Crime, Flame & Citron and Max Manus, it’s all terribly worthy but not particularly user-friendly, with Rahim’s character lacking any real depth.

***(*)(*)David Edwards, Daily Record, 25/05/2012

It may lack the punch of his turn in A Prophet, but Rahim again dominates the screen in an effective wartime thriller.

***(*)(*)David Hughes, Empire Online, 21/05/2012

Features about Free Men (12A)

Free Men: another painful perspective on the Nazi occupation of France

John Patterson, The Guardian, 19/05/2012

Where and when?

Edinburgh Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Friday June 1, 2012, until Thursday June 14, 2012. More info:

Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow from Friday June 1, 2012, until Thursday June 7, 2012. More info:

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