[critical] The Assault

Saturday, 24 December 1994.

Four GIA terrorists take hostages in Algiers Airbus A-300 Air France between the algerian capital to Paris and 227 people aboard it. Nobody knows their intentions : they are armed and appear extremely determined.

The terrorists were demanding the release of their comrades in arms and demand the immediate take-off of the aircraft. But it is finally after long diplomatic negotiations strained between the French government and algerian and execution of 3 passengers as the plane leaves the airport of Algiers.

We are the Monday, December 26, it is 3h33 in the morning, when the Air France Airbus landed at Marseille-Marignane.

Three characters, Thierry, a soldier of the GIGN, Carole Jeanton, an ambitious technocrat, and Yahia Abdallah, a Jihadist determined are at the heart of the event.

Their logic will battle it out until the finale.

In front of 21 million viewers, the assault of the GIGN is going to put an end to the hostage taking unprecedented in the history of terrorism… but a harbinger of the terrible events of September 11, 2001.

Author’s Note


Release Date : march 9, 2011

Directed by Julien Leclercq

Film French

With Vincent Elbaz, Grégori Derangère, Mélanie Bernier

Duration : 1h30min

Trailer :

One rarely has the opportunity, in France, to delve into his past, in addition to the few (very good) tv-movies recently produced by Channel (black Night or 93 rue Lauriston, for example) and the initiative is to be welcomed, even before you see the result. It is looking back, therefore, in the hostage-taking flight Paris-Algiers, that we all could follow live on tv at the time (at least for the less young among us), and continues to resonate strongly in the recent history, especially since we learned that it was a pre-September 11 messed up.

Fiction allows us to relive the event in the heart of the action, such as a counter field to the images that we already know (in which archives intersect with the film, and we offer among others the pleasure to see the amazing blow-dry 90’s Claire Chazal). The film is gaining interest and pace it loses in accuracy compared to a documentary that would scroll through the interviews of the survivors at home in front of a fireplace. Necessarily fictionalized for the needs of the big screen, the story opens the door to blame, as he lay still the stigma on the muslims, in a context already tense. But should it never make this film for fear of being assimilated to some politicians misguided ?

Terrorism, islamist extremism, images of archives : you hold our Munich hex ? Not too far away. Julien Leclercq is not Spielberg (still flies here, well above Indiana Jones 4) but he renews the photo, icy and cold (it’s good, it is not there to laugh) for his futuristic thriller Chrysalis, whose aesthetic qualities were not the smallest. His camera, nervous from the first minute, requires a voltage and a silence in the room that I had rarely felt since… Munich, precisely. Compared to its illustrious model, however, it lacks geo-political implications are more ambiguous, which would have pulled up this one that will remain finally a (very good) film genre : the villains have taken to the gentiles as a hostage and are screwed by an army surentrainée.

No counterpoint to the glorification of the actions of the GIGN on the ground and good decision-making side of ministry. When we know the career of Balladur or Pasqua, however, it has been a little difficult to see. Vincent Elbaz is quite credible in his role of cop is heroic, though a bit tender, Grégori Derangère, kind of Hippolyte Girardot young ; behind the scenes, Antoine Basler fits perfectly his usual role of chief obnoxious (it was the Marc Maronnier 99 Francs), and the lovely discovery Mélanie Bernier is struggling to advance the story.

A few menu flaws that do not detract from the qualities of this historical thriller, dry and tight, which should open a breach in the production…

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