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.

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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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