Focus on Competitor Movie Les neiges du Kilimandjaro

Focus on Competitor Movie Les neiges du Kilimandjaro

Focus on Les Neiges du Kilimandjaro by Nick Shaw, British member of '27 Times Cinema'*. This film is the latest product of Guédiguian´s usual ensemble cast and comes direct from the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes 2011.


A much more overtly political film than either Play or AttenbergLes Neiges du Kilimandjaro is a film about living with politics and class in everyday life, and the consequences of making principled decisions in a politically charged environment.


Michel is a shop steward at the Marseille dockside, and it is time for compulsory redundancies. It is decided from above that the fairest way to do this is at random, choosing names from a hat.


Michel is charged with this thankless task and the various consequences shape the narrative for the film. Michel's comparative wealth is met with scorn and resentment by the younger crop of workers. Instead of preparing for a comfortable old age, he is given a new challenge: to communicate what his older generation has failed to transmit to the younger workers, the value of solidarity, hard work and job security.


This film is a succinct and detailed portrayal of how family and politics can be intertwined, and the fine line between righteous conviction and bullheaded obstinacy. Michel is what some may call a “champagne socialist”, but others a “leftist agitator.” Both perspectives are given credence in the film, offering us a balanced overview. However, the strength of the film is not only in the exposition of these complex debates, but in the sympathetic portrait of a man reaching old age, his powers diminishing, his sphere of influence receding and how he confronts the contradictions between what is said, and what is done.


The film is a representation of a political life lived to the extreme, and is food for thought for anyone with faith in a cause.


* Via '27 Times Cinema' established in 2010, the LUX Prize gives the opportunity to 27 European young cinema lovers to be substantially involved in the Venice International Film Festival where they can watch, report and reflect upon films.