By on May 15th, 2015

Samba (2014)

Samba (2015) Dir. Eric Toledano & Olivier Nakache – QFT Belfast

Who’s in it? Charlotte Gainsbourg, Omar Sy

What’s it about? Working as a dishwasher in a fancy French hotel, Senegalese migrant Samba (Sy) is put into the path of inexperienced immigration officer Alice (Gainsbourg) after an administrative error leaves his immigration status in doubt. Tangled in beaucratic red-tape Samba ends up in a detention centre and is ordered to leave France on his release. Working with Alice the pair do what they can to ensure Samba is allowed to stay in France. As the unlikely couple get closer and the personal mixes with the professional, they discover a complementarity via similarity and learn from each others differences. Largely produced off the back of the unprecedented success of their previous collaboration, 2012’s hilarious and heartfelt The Intouchables, directors Toledano and Nakache reignite their onscreen chemistry with irresistibly charming newcomer Omar Sy, in a film that uses the topical and always contentious issue of immigration to explore the notion of identity and status amid a new, seemingly more sensitive era in an ever-evolving France.

Memorable Moments? At one point a fellow immigrant worker of Samba’s, while the pair are halfway up the outside of an office building on a suspended window cleaning platform, decides it would be a good idea to re-enact the famous Coca-Cola advert for all the young ladies in the office.

Look who’s talking: ‘It hasn’t its predecessor’s razzle-dazzle, but Samba is the surer-footed endeavour: for once in popular cinema, the problems of the First World come in second behind those of the Third.’ – The Telegraph

Like that? Try this: A life affirming true story, The Intouchables (2012) is a delightfully irreverent comedy about unlikely friendship transcending social ties and sees no-nonsense, street smart ex-con Driss land a job as a carer for paraplegic millionaire Albert.

Trivia Pursuit: Omar Sy has since appeared as Bishop in Hollywood blockbuster X-MEN: Days of Future Past.

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