Smugglers’ Songs

A band of mid-18th century outsiders roams the verdant Gallic countryside while trying to foment a revolt through chants and unlawful behavior in "Smugglers' Songs."

With:
With: Jacques Nolot, Christian Milia-Darmezin, Kenji Levan, Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche, Salim Ameur-Zaimeche, Sylvain Roume, Nicolas Bancilhon, Abel Jafri, Nicolas Larmignat, Sylvain Rifflet, Sylvia Albaret, Jean-Luc Nancy, Xavier Pons, Yann-Yvon Pennec.

A band of mid-18th-century outsiders roams the verdant Gallic countryside while trying to foment a revolt through chants and unlawful behavior in “Smugglers’ Songs,” the fourth feature and first period pic from thesp-helmer Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche (“Adhen”). Set after the death of the group’s famous, real-life leader, Louis Mandrin, and before the French Revolution (that would come about because of the sentiments shown in an embryonic state here), this small-scale and meandering story is stranded in a temporal no-man’s land that feels more picaresque than overtly political. “Songs” could play locally and at indie fests.

The period just after the future folk hero’s 1755 execution is invoked primarily through costumes — no production designer’s credited; most locations are outdoors — though dialogue sounds contemporary. Overall effect is as motley as Mandrin’s crew, which is mainly composed of Ameur-Zaimeche regulars, including himself as a traveling merchant. Thesp-director Jacques Nolot is best-in-show as a nobleman sympathetic to the group’s anti-establishment cause. Like Serge Bozon’s “La France,” which cast a similarly offbeat and musical eye toward French history, pic won the prestigious Jean Vigo prize for “independence of spirit.”

Smugglers' Songs

France

Production: An MK2 release of a Sarrazink Prods., Maharaja Films, MK2 presentation and production. (International sales: MK2, Paris.) Produced by Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche. Co-producer, Mathilde Henrot. Directed, written by Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche.

Crew: Camera (color), Irina Lubtchansky; editor, Nicolas Bancilhon; music, Valentin Clastrier; costume designer, Christiane Vervandier. Reviewed at Locarno Film Festival (competing), Aug. 6, 2011. Running time: 97 MIN.

With: With: Jacques Nolot, Christian Milia-Darmezin, Kenji Levan, Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche, Salim Ameur-Zaimeche, Sylvain Roume, Nicolas Bancilhon, Abel Jafri, Nicolas Larmignat, Sylvain Rifflet, Sylvia Albaret, Jean-Luc Nancy, Xavier Pons, Yann-Yvon Pennec.

More Film

  • 'Murder Me, Monster' Review: Mystifying Art-house

    Cannes Film Review: 'Murder Me, Monster'

    A band of mid-18th-century outsiders roams the verdant Gallic countryside while trying to foment a revolt through chants and unlawful behavior in “Smugglers’ Songs,” the fourth feature and first period pic from thesp-helmer Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche (“Adhen”). Set after the death of the group’s famous, real-life leader, Louis Mandrin, and before the French Revolution (that would […]

  • A Quiet Place

    China Box Office: ‘A Quiet Place’ Opens Third Behind ‘Infinity War'

    A band of mid-18th-century outsiders roams the verdant Gallic countryside while trying to foment a revolt through chants and unlawful behavior in “Smugglers’ Songs,” the fourth feature and first period pic from thesp-helmer Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche (“Adhen”). Set after the death of the group’s famous, real-life leader, Louis Mandrin, and before the French Revolution (that would […]

  • Patricia Morison Dead: 'Kiss Me Kate'

    Patricia Morison, Stage Star of 'Kiss Me, Kate', Dies at 103

    A band of mid-18th-century outsiders roams the verdant Gallic countryside while trying to foment a revolt through chants and unlawful behavior in “Smugglers’ Songs,” the fourth feature and first period pic from thesp-helmer Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche (“Adhen”). Set after the death of the group’s famous, real-life leader, Louis Mandrin, and before the French Revolution (that would […]

  • Does Cannes Have a Future? Yes,

    Does Cannes Have a Future? Yes, But the Festival Needs to Change

    A band of mid-18th-century outsiders roams the verdant Gallic countryside while trying to foment a revolt through chants and unlawful behavior in “Smugglers’ Songs,” the fourth feature and first period pic from thesp-helmer Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche (“Adhen”). Set after the death of the group’s famous, real-life leader, Louis Mandrin, and before the French Revolution (that would […]

  • DEADPOOL 2

    'Deadpool 2' Leads International Box Office With Powerful $176 Million Debut

    A band of mid-18th-century outsiders roams the verdant Gallic countryside while trying to foment a revolt through chants and unlawful behavior in “Smugglers’ Songs,” the fourth feature and first period pic from thesp-helmer Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche (“Adhen”). Set after the death of the group’s famous, real-life leader, Louis Mandrin, and before the French Revolution (that would […]

  • BlacKkKlansman

    Variety Critics Name the 12 Best Movies From Cannes 2018

    A band of mid-18th-century outsiders roams the verdant Gallic countryside while trying to foment a revolt through chants and unlawful behavior in “Smugglers’ Songs,” the fourth feature and first period pic from thesp-helmer Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche (“Adhen”). Set after the death of the group’s famous, real-life leader, Louis Mandrin, and before the French Revolution (that would […]

  • DEADPOOL 2

    Box Office: 'Deadpool 2' Propels to $125 Million Opening

    A band of mid-18th-century outsiders roams the verdant Gallic countryside while trying to foment a revolt through chants and unlawful behavior in “Smugglers’ Songs,” the fourth feature and first period pic from thesp-helmer Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche (“Adhen”). Set after the death of the group’s famous, real-life leader, Louis Mandrin, and before the French Revolution (that would […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content