French film Samba highlights the pain and joy of misfits

Escaping french immigration authorities, complicated romances and dancing in window-washer carts high above the Paris skyline. Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre's Movies in the Mountain series presents the vibrant, acclaimed French film, Samba.

A light-hearted friendship forms between fellow illegal immigrants Wilson (Tahar Rahim) and Samba (Omar Sy) in the French film Samba. Photo: David Koskas

The latest Movies in the Mountains film at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre is the intriguing story of an illegal immigrant battling deportation from Paris.

Samba (Omar Sy) is from Senegal in Africa. He’s kept a low profile in France for ten years, working in an up-market kitchen, until bureaucracy catches up with him and he is thrown into jail while his residency status is determined.

As his life hangs in the air, Samba meets immigration worker Alice (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a depressed volunteer social worker who has taken a temporary leave from her high-powered human resources job.

A delicate friendship and romance simmers between Samba (Omar Sy) and Alice (Charlotte Gainsbourg). Photo: Film still
A delicate friendship and romance simmers between Samba (Omar Sy) and Alice (Charlotte Gainsbourg). Photo: Film still

Immediately they have a connection, despite Alice’s coworker’s refrain to “keep her distance” and not get attached. What follows is a slow burning romance as a friendship of sorts blossoms between the two.

Meanwhile, on release from confinement, Samba’s world is turned upside down as he continues to live in Paris while avoiding the French authorities. He is befriended by the cheeky and unflappable Brazilian Wilson (Tahar Rahim), whose antics breathe life into the film, and tries to survive with a multitude of random, under-the-table labour jobs.

Samba moves at a steady pace and despite its serious storyline with a cast of misfit characters, each battling their own demons, it’s a heart-warming film with many surprising moments of hilarity.

Event Details:

When: Wednesday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre, 1007 Vernon Ave, Revelstoke.

Tickets: $9. Buy tickets online and enter promo code revmountaineer for a special online-only 5% discount.