Rebellion (2011) Film Review

Expectations can be a tricky best, especially when it comes to films. The trailer for Mathieu Kassovitz’s newest film, Rebellion, really makes it seem like a wartime story. In a sense, Rebellion is a wartime story, insomuch that it is set against the tense occupation of the French colony of New Caledonia. But from pretty much the opening sequence on, Rebellion is less a story of battle than it is a story of trying to stop one.


Fellipe Legorjus (Kassovitz) is the captain of the GIGN, a special forces unit trained to tactically deal with terrorist operations generally involving hostages. Legorjus arrives on the island of New Caledonia because Kanak separatists led by Alphonse Dianou (Iabe Lapacas) have taken 30 French policemen hostage. Legorjus meets with Dianou in an effort to peacefully return the hostages against the odds and pressures of the French government and elections back home.

The film is based on real life events and challenges the notion that the victor gets to tell the story. The politics of France throughout the film challenge Legorjus’ efforts throughout the entire film. But outside of one fantastically shot warlike sequence, Rebellion moves the story along and a quick pace. The film counts down the ten days leading up to the chaos forshadowed at the beginning and Kassovitz has a knack for making sure things never slow down too much.

Directed by Mathieu Kassovitz


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