The Snows of Kilimajaro (Les neiges du Kilimandjaro, France, 2011)

Coming together

A trade unionist, strong female character, cohesive working class community; what’s not to like? As long as your view of melodrama is positive, then there’s nothing not to like in this wonderful drama. First, though, a bleat: the trailer gave far too much away! So don’t watch the trailer.

Jean-Pierre Darroussin, last seen by me in Le Havre, plays the made-redundant trade unionist and the film starts in Couscous territory with the early-retired (‘rationalised’) worker trying to find meaning elsewhere. However the narrative takes a turn that moves into sentimentality (children are involved) in an uncompromising way. To combine those is something of a narrative triumph. No spoilers here but I do admire writer-director Robert Guédiguian’s determination not to rose-tint the criminal.

I’ve no idea whether the film’s title references Hemingway’s novel; it’s quite clear that the destination is a mythical place that can be readily found where you live as long as, unlike  capitalists, you care for others.


One Response

  1. The title refers to the chanson sung at the Wedding Anniversary party. It was a huge hit in France in 1966 when the couple were young teenagers.

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