Set largely in an underprivileged Parisian suburb, Ladj Ly’s follow-up to Les Misérables (TIFF ’19) is an incendiary indictment of racist policies that force the poor into unsafe and inadequate living conditions.

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Special Presentations

Les Indésirables

Ladj Ly

Set largely in an underprivileged Parisian suburb, Ladj Ly’s follow-up to his Cannes Jury Prize–winning debut, Les Misérables (TIFF ’19), is an incendiary indictment of racist policies that force the poor into unsafe and inadequate living conditions. Featuring a powerhouse ensemble led by newcomer Anta Diaw, Les Indésirables dramatizes some of the most divisive social themes of our time.

When the existing mayor suddenly dies, family doctor Pierre (Alexis Manenti) finds himself chosen as interim mayor. But Pierre is woefully unfamiliar with the less affluent members of his constituency and soon realizes he’s in over his head.

Haby (Diaw), meanwhile, is Pierre’s opposite: president of a public housing association, she herself lives in one of the city’s “10-storey favelas.” As Pierre’s administration unleashes an aggressive campaign targeting immigrants, Haby decides to put herself forward as a candidate in the forthcoming mayoral election. But can she and her team act fast enough to prevent their community from being evicted wholesale?

Ly ratchets up the tension by detailing the myriad ways his characters suffer discomfort and indignity: a bus-driver strike, a disastrously executed demolition, a scene in which a family must move a casket carrying the remains of a loved one down multiple flights of stairs. Most devastatingly, Les Indésirables reveals how advocates from within marginalized communities are pitted against each other by making deals that facilitate corrupt and bigoted agendas. But what infuses this story with hope is the invincible fire that burns within Haby, who straddles both worlds — and is determined to hold the value of égalité to account.

ROBYN CITIZEN

Official Selection, 2023 Toronto International Film Festival

Screenings

Fri Sep 08

Royal Alexandra Theatre

Premium
5:30pm
Sat Sep 09

Scotiabank 2

Press
8:30am
Sat Sep 09

Scotiabank 2

Regular
3:00pm
Mon Sep 11

Scotiabank 3

Press
8:45am
Sat Sep 16

Scotiabank 2

Regular
7:30pm