Equal parts political drama, thriller and war movie based on the brutal 1988 repression of an indigenous rebellion in the French Pacific island territory of New Caledonia. ‘hugely intelligent’
Please note scenes of violence.
L’ordre et la morale. French, 2012. Language: French. 135 minutes. Cert: 15A. Director: Mathieu Kassovitz. Starring: Mathieu Kassovitz, Iabe Lapacas, Malik Zidi
Season Ten starts with this taut French colonial flick which Filmuforia calls ‘a hugely intelligent film’.
Equal parts political drama, thriller and war movie, it’s based on the brutal 1988 repression of an indigenous insurrection in the French Pacific island territory of New Caledonia.
The indigenous tribe, the Kanaks, lived by ancient customs and chafed under the erosion of their independence. In the spring of 1988,they attacked a police station, killing four gendarmes who resisted and taking 27 hostages. What began as a confused local incident ended ten days later with a massacre in which two more policemen lost their lives and 19 Kanaks died, a number of whom were executed after their capture.
The film’s central character, sensitively played by director Mathieu Kassovitz (La Haine), is torn between doing what is right and fulfilling his duty as a military man. Elegantly interweaving dialogue and action with archival news footage, Rebellion evolved through long discussion with Kanak islanders – some of whom perform key acting roles – former soldiers and policemen.
New Caledonia’s only cinema operator refused to screen Rebellion, underscoring how the massacre remains one of the most polarizing military actions in the nation’s recent history.