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French flair in Hemingway’s Snows of Kilimanjaro

An elderly French couple lead an ordered and pleasant life and then the husband is retrenched. Still, everything is going well and they are happy, until they are robbed in their home.

To compound the problem, Michel (Jean-Pierre Darroussin) and Marie-Claire (Ariane Ascaride, wife and long-time collaborator of director Robert Guédiguian) discover that their burglars are known to them.

Young Christophe (Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet) was laid off at work at the same time as Michel and soon the couple’s world view is shattered in more ways than one.

Circumstances are as complicated as the characters as the film pits the decent, ageing socialists in their middle-class existence with a younger, seemingly unrepentant lout, who may just have good intentions. It turns out that their young attacker is the sole provider for his two younger brothers and this is where it gets interesting.

Directed and written by Guédiguian, the film was inspired by the Victor Hugo poem, Les Pauvres Gens (How Good Are the Poor), but with a twist.

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