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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Les Apaches" )

 

directed by Thierry de Peretti
France 2013

 

Eager to impress pretty Maryne (Maryne Cayon), Aziz (Aziz El Hadachi) takes her and friend Jo (Joseph-Marie Ebrard) to one of the vacation villas that he and his father Hassad (Hassane El Idrissi) look after in the off-season (as an extension of the construction work they do for local builder Bati [Michel Ferracci, STATE AFFAIRS], the nephew of a local gangster). They are soon joined by uninvited guests: Maryne's boyfriend Hamza (Hamza Meziani), his friend François-Jo (François-Joseph Cullioli), and his girlfriend Pascale (Andréa Brusque). Things quickly get out of hand when the party-crashers explore the house and make a mess. Aziz gets upset, but to save face in front of Maryne, he steals a hi-fi set and some DVDs. Aziz tries to return them the next day and clean up only to discover that the owners have returned. Since the owners are friends of Bati, he knows just who to ask about the breaking and entering. Aziz tries to make amends to Bati and his own father by returning the items only to discover that his "guests" have also made off with a pair of engraved Moroccan rifles. Aziz tries to contact François-Jo, Hamza, and Joe about rifles, but they have already been scared by a frightened Hamza's report that Bati is threatening an "Arab massacre" that is otherwise unlikely to touch "right side of the tracks" Jo and François-Jo unless Aziz rats them out (and they are now armed with the tools to make sure that doesn't happen).

Contrary to its advertising, APACHES is a slight and deliberately-paced drama that only hints at being a thriller while shedding light on the racial and class tensions beneath the sun-drenched surface of the resort island of Corsica. Questions of identity and what the young characters will do in order to belong drive the action rather than tense encounters with Bati's men, and those questions continue to linger as the characters take action. Aziz knows what kind of man Bati's uncle is, and that he recommended them for the villa grounds keeping job. While he had intended to clean things up and return the stolen property with none the wiser, his decision not to rat out his supposed friends bewilders when his mortality is threatened. François-Jo despises both the Arabs and the the French, and is hard-pressed to identity himself either way, possibly explaining why he has no compunction about robbing the villa's owners and screwing over Aziz. Aziz's cousin Hamza seems to be the voice of conscience among the tighter-knit trio of himself, Jo, and François-Jo; yet he seems even more desperate to belong, taking (or being manipulated into) decisive action and later trying to completely change or conceal his identity (after having earlier called out François-Jo on his self-loathing views). The overweight (and white) Joe is the most weakest-willed of the four, but also possibly the most rational in his reluctance (or cowardice) to get any deeper in an already dire situation. The ending is equal parts ambiguous, cynical, ironic, and thought-provoking as the camera lingers at length on careless, dancing, sun-tanned bodies and one character who has never felt like more of an outcast.

Eric Cotenas

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Theatrical Release: 14 August 2013 (France)

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DVD Review: Film Movement - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Film Movement

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:24:12
Video

1.36:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.7 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio French Dolby Digital 5.1; French Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Film Movement

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.36:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:08)
• Director Biography
• Bonus Short Film 'Margerita' (Alessandro Grande, 15:20)
• Film Movement Trailers
• About Film Movement

DVD Release Date: December 2nd, 2014
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments

Film Movement's progressive transfer is framed at approximately 1.37:1 - an idiosyncratic choice in some recent French films including Andrea Arnold's WUTHERING HEIGHTS - but pillarboxed in 16:9. Audio options include a French 5.1 and 2.0 stereo downmixes. The surround track is not buzzing with activity but makes itself known with music and crowd sounds in a couple scenes and various atmospheric sounds in others (sounds which take on a subtly discomforting presence in the latter half of the film). The optional English subtitles (English closed captions are also included) are readable but stay within the 1.33:1 frame.

Besides the trailer, biography for director Thierry de Peretti, and a text statement on the inside cover from the director, there is not much in the way of film-related extras. There is, however, a neat short film about another band of gypsies and a breaking-and-entering that has a surprising twist. Trailers for six other Film Movement titles are also available (three of which also play at the start) including the already-covered I AM YOURS and LINES OF WELLINGTON.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Film Movement

Region 1 - NTSC

 



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