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Aro Recommended 13 Tzameti


France 2005, 90 minutes
Dir. Géla Babluani
In French with English subtitles
Genres: Foreign Cinema, Suspense/Crime / Film Noir


Aroview: Coolly disturbing noir thriller tracks the fate of a struggling immigrant labourer who intercepts a package with instructions that lead him into a deadly game of chance.

Thickly layered with Beckettian despair, Kafka-esque predestination, and the look of washed out gangster noir by way of Jules Dassin and Jean-Pierre Melville (amongst others); much of the story plays out as a numbly surreal nightmare clicked awake by bleak post-Perestroika allegory. Under calculatedly assured direction by 26-year-old first-timer Gela Babluani, this could easily be accused of dabbling in stylishly detached cruelty, yet while it may seem a bit slickly passionless at times, the horror and suspense are handled with such chilling aplomb that it's bound to linger in your head for days.

NZ International Film Festival 2007
Sundance - Grand Jury Prize (Dramatic)
Adopt-a-Movie Kindly Adopted by Philip Reeve

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