By Simon Dang | The Playlist August 17, 2011 at 2:38AM
After debuting at Cannes to lukewarm reviews, the upcoming appearance at TIFF of Ismaël Ferroukhi's "Free Men" has brought us a handful of new images and a trailer for the political thriller led by breakout "A Prophet" star Tahar Rahim.
A biopic about Si Kaddour Benghabrit, the film follows the inspirational story of the Algerian immigrant as he is inspired to join the resistance through an unexpected friendship with a Jewish man during WWII. Benghabrit, though, is perhaps best known as the founder of Grande Mosquée de Paris, which he utilized as a secret refuge for those persecuted in WWII, providing shelter, safe passage, and fake Muslim birth certificates for Jewish children. Michael Lonsdale, Mahmoud Shalaby and Lubna Azabal also feature in the pic, which was co-penned by Ferroukhi and Alain-Michel Blanc.
The film is set to kick off a strong run from Rahim who also has Jean-Jacques Annaud's oil-epic "Black Gold" (along side Mark Strong, Antonio Banderas, Riz Ahmed and Freida Pinto), Lou Ye's "Love And Bruises" (playing Venice and TIFF), Joachim Lafosse's "Loving Without Reasons" with Niels Arestrup as well as a reported role in Emir Kusturica's black comedy "Cool Water" all on the horizon and/or in the works.
Here's a short synopsis from the official TIFF website along with the new trailer and images.
Set in German-occupied Paris in 1942, Younes, an Algerian black marketer, is arrested by the police and agrees to spy on a Parisian mosque suspected of helping resistance fighters and Jews. Witnessing the horrors of the Nazi regime, Younes stops collaborating to become a freedom fighter.