The Snows of Kilimanjaro

"Les neiges du Kilimandjaro" is another award-winning 2012 Seattle International Film Festival entry from France (English captions). And what a welcome entry it is!

We start with a much-dreaded downsizing at a waterfront plant in Marseilles. Twenty names are pulled from a box, one of which is the name of the fellow doing the drawing. His brother-in-law insists he didn't have to put his name in the box but our guy says it's only fair; and he has spent his entire working career as an active union member whose mission in life is fairness!

As a consolation prize and a 25th-wedding anniversary gift, their three grown children, plus friends and other family all chip in and give them tickets and money for a safari to Tanzania (where you find Mt. Kiliman- jaro). The 19 other fellows who were also downsized attend the party.

Here is part of the cast:
  • Jean-Pierre Darroussin ("Le Havre"), adjusting to unemployment, is playing cards with his wife, his sister-in-law and her husband when suddenly thieves burst in, knock him to the floor, break his collarbone and steal the tickets and the money.
  • Ariane Ascaride ("The Art of Love") is his wife. She works as a domestic and loves her family: husband, children and grand- children. Ascaride won a 2012 Cesar (French Academy Award) for this role.
  • Marilyne Canto ("Apres Vous") is the wife's sister, she is the most distressed by that armed robbery. She seems to be suffering from post-traumatic stress.
  • Gérard Maylan ("Le thanto") is the brother-in-law. He is furious about that violent robbery and forgets all about his socialist love for his fellow man. He wants revenge!
  • Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet ("Stranded") is one of the downsized fellows. He is angry, frightened and resentful. Plus there is more to his situation than anyone has guessed.
Our hero and his wife realize that one of the robbers is a fellow from the party; he just lost his job. Now their quandary: What is fair? Who needed the money more? Does the robber have a family? After both of these kind people, each unbeknown to the other, delves into the situation, their moral quagmire becomes really complicated.

This is a heart-warming drama with many humorous moments. The adult children display a natural self-interest as the story progresses, and they are still concerned about that trip to Tanzania. We just enjoy having so many people to root for!
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This trailer has English captions:
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