A French arts ambassador (Gilles Lellouche) working in Siberia is suddenly arrested, accused by the Russian authorities of having molested his daughter; Mathieu’s only way out is to attempt an escape. Based on a true story, this film shows the considerable risk any non-Russian person would take trying to work and live in Putin’s corrupt and brutal society. In chilling ways, the filmmakers illustrate the current conflict between the West and Russian sensibilities and unpredictability, carefully building a slick and exciting thriller where we follow the Frenchman’s escape. His dangerous relationship with an FSB officer’s daughter-in-law (Joanna Kulig) complicates things considerably.
2022-France. 127 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Albane de Jourdan, Jérôme Salle, Marc Simoncini. Directed by Jérôme Salle. Screenplay: Jérôme Salle, Caryl Ferey. Cinematography: Matias Boucard, Sacha Wiernik. Cast: Gilles Lellouche (Mathieu Roussel), Joanna Kulig (Svetlana), Louis-Do de Lencquesaing (The Ambassador), Michael Gor, Aleksey Gorbunov, Elisa Lasowski.
Last word: “[We chose Lellouche because] he is so very French! I’ve known him a while, since he had a small role in my very first movie. We wanted someone who the audiences would find it easy to relate to. He is very lost, lost in Russia, lost in facing the mentality. He is a metaphor for us facing Russia and not realising the problem we have. That we are in danger, in a way.” (Salle, interview with Jane Freebury)