PRODS Christophe Rossignon, Philipe Boeffard, Mathieu Kassovitz
SCR Mathieu Kassovitz, Benoît Jaubert
CAM Marc Koninckx
EDS Thomas Beard, Lionel Devuyst, Mathieu Kassovitz
PROD DES Bruno Coupe, Emmanuelle Cuillery
MUS Klaus Badelt
PROD CO Nord-Ouest Films / UGC / Studio 37 / France 2 Cinéma
Actor/director Mathieu Kassovitz’s (La haine) powerful docudrama centers on a principled police negotiator caught up in New Caledonia’s struggle for emancipation on the eve of France’s 1988 presidential election. When Kanak rebels kill four gendarmes and take 30 hostages, Captain Philippe Legorjus (played by Kassovitz) travels to the French Melanesian territory in the South Pacific to restore order. Within the first few days, half of the hostages see release, but the situation otherwise goes from bad to worse as Legorjus clashes with the occupying army forces and finds that even the more peaceful villagers are resistant to help the French in any way. Consequently, Legorjus briefly ends up a hostage in Ouvéa, at which point he learns the full story behind the insurrection from fair-minded rebel leader Alphonse. Still, Legorjus must find a way to carry out his orders and prevent further loss of life, a seemingly insurmountable goal as the race between Jacques Chirac and François Mitterrand heats up.
Rebellion pairs high-octane action sequences with an intricate plot about how the insidious nature of politics and pride can undercut the efforts of even the most admirable men on both sides.
"Kassovitz’s fact-based [film] muscularly fulfills the duties of a war movie, a historical reckoning and a political intervention, at least to the extent that the survival of Kanak culture within the French Pacific colony of New Caledonia remains an ongoing concern…"—Rob Nelson, Variety