The thriller with François Civil, Karim Leklou and Gilles Lellouche is screened this evening in Cannes, out of competition.
Six years later French, the kid Cedric Jimenez rests its cameras in Marseille to tell of the police embezzlement that hit the headlines in North Bac. As impactful as it is fascinating.
The film worn by François Civil, Karim Leklou and Gilles Lellouche should have been released this winter, in December 2020, at the cinema, so that the trio had made the cover of Première (n ° 513), when the editorial staff fell in love with this thriller “punch”. Finally, its French release was postponed to August 18, and it was selected at Cannes: it will be unveiled this evening, out of competition.
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In 1992, Bertrand Tavernier and his co-writer, Michel Alexandre, gave a salutary boost to the French thriller with L.627 whose cryptic title referred to an article of the Public Health Code. Twenty-eight years later North Bac echoes a unit of the Anti-Crime Brigade in the northern districts of Marseille, infamous for having been at the heart of a gigantic anti-corruption crackdown in 2012. The rapprochement between the two films is not based solely on on their codified designations. In L.627, Tavernier filmed the daily life of an anti-drug squad faced with red tape and the terribly ambiguous relationship between the cops and their informants, a murky water where it was not better to put the nose. “If we want to do our job properly, we have to be illegal 24 hours a day”, said Lulu, the character played by the late Didier Bezace. This is precisely what Cédric Jimenez illustrates, with the same realistic intensity in North Bac.
SPILLED FRUIT. Unlike the characters of L.627, those from North Bac happily cross the yellow line. With the tacit consent of their boss, Greg (Gilles Lellouche), Antoine (François Civil) and Yass (Karim Leklou) decide to set a trap for drug caps, a trap for which they need a large sum of money. money that they cannot ask the administration for and that they will get… by racking up dealers! An aberrant operation, symptomatic of a judicial system incapable of responding to the development and hardening of petty and petty crime. How, however, did they come to this? The main reason advanced by the film (which is based on the minutes of the trial and the testimonies of the three defendants from which it is inspired) is a generalized fed up with these cops in the field, insulted, heckled, humiliated by the city thugs they are regularly confronted with. ” You know what ? We no longer serve anything ”, Greg laments to a colleague, after returning from an ultra-tense face-to-face with young people.
IN IMMERSION. The film slowly gains momentum. Jimenez begins by describing these three very different men but striving towards the same goal: to enforce the law and to be respected. Greg is a lonely quad, dedicated to his job; Antoine, a young free electron, mounted on springs; Yass, a future father, the wise man of the group married to a supportive cop (Adèle Exarchopoulos). The director tracks down moments of intimacy (very successful scenes between Antoine and his indic, played by Kenza Fortas, the revelation of Scheherazade), brings out the part of light and lightness of the group (which culminates in an instantly cult sequence with a young man with an insane patter). The more the story progresses, the more Jimenez isolates these men whom their slippage will drive away. In the central scene of the film, the suffocating real-time assault on a dealer lair (located in the meanders of an HLM, assimilated to a deadly shoot’em up setting), the three characters are thus physically separated and subjected to an unbearable tension which sends them back to their limits. A cathartic moment from which the vitamin-packed action film turns into an intimate drama. Incarcerated for aggravated corruption and released by their hierarchy, the three characters are brutally reduced to inaction and promiscuity, the worst punishment for these men on the ground. In three stages, three movements, Cédric Jimenez shows the absurdity of a system which sacrifices its pillars to hold up a fatally rickety edifice. As Wretched last year, North Bac launches the alert. Are we finally going to take it seriously?