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Les hommes libres | Ismael Ferroukhi, 2011
France | Format: 35mm | 99 minutes
In person on March 3: Director Ismael Ferroukhi and star Tahar Rahim!
In the dark, early days of the German Occupation, Algerian immigrant Younes (Tahar Rahim, from A Prophet) works in the black market—which eventually land him in the clutches of the authorities. After threatening him, the Germans make Younes an offer: start frequenting the Paris Grand Mosque and report back on what you see. Not religious, Younes agrees to spy, and to his amazement discovers behind the Mosque’s walls a whole world of activities—including a clandestine operation to provide North African Jews with papers declaring them to be Muslims. A little know yet remarkable strand of history, Free Men powerfully illustrates the role of France’s Muslim community in the Resistance and in the saving of Jewish lives—especially the efforts of the Mosque’s rector, Si Kaddour Benghabrit, played in the film by the great Michael Lonsdale.