Film Club

ShortList Film Club screens The Connection

This month, the ShortList Film Club goes international and enters the criminal world. That of Seventies Marseille, to be precise, and the story of the French Connection – yep, that connection – the heroin-smuggling ring made famous by the Oscar-winning film starring Gene Hackman. But whereas The French Connection took events to the streets of New York (before spawning a completely fictional sequel), The Connection focuses solely on the original true story in Marseille, and the global drugs network that blighted the city and its idyllic coastline for decades.

Jean Dujardin – of The Artist and Nespresso fame – stars as young police magistrate Pierre Michel, who decides to clean up the city that he and his family have newly arrived in. It means, against all sound reason, that he has to take on the Mafia and feared godfather Gaëtan Zampa (Mesrine’s Gilles Lellouche) to do it. Pierre’s determination also means that, as he delves deeper into the case, he realises his familiar methods can no longer apply.

Directed by relative newcomer Cédric Jimenez, whose father owned a Marseille nightclub frequented by local gangsters, The Connection is a thrilling, visually stunning crime drama that, thanks to ShortList’s Film Club, some of you lucky lot will get to watch for free. Once again, we’re helped out by our friends at Stella Artois, who know a thing or two about European cool themselves.

There will only be six screenings across the country between 22 and 28 May (before the film’s UK release on 29 May), so, if you fancy a two-hour cinematic sojourn to gangland France, you’ll have to act pretty swiftly. Good luck, or, to use a phrase perhaps more associated with the French Riviera, bonne chance.

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