Samba | Chicago Reader


Rated R 119 minutes 2015

Though a considerable box office success in France, The Intouchables (2011)—a dramatic comedy about a wealthy, white quadriplegic who bonds with his poor, black caregiver—inspired an impassioned cultural backlash. Left-wing commentators accused writer-directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano of peddling a simplified vision of French race relations to flatter white viewers. The film seriously downplayed France's ongoing problems with race, argued the anti-Intouchables crowd; for them, the movie was no feel-good entertainment but an act of denial. Samba, the latest film by Nakache and Toledano, is another dramatic comedy about French race relations, even less plausible than The Intouchables, that chronicles the blooming romance between a white, middle-class woman and a working-poor Senegalese immigrant. I was moved by Samba despite its falsity; the leads are so charismatic and the optimistic message so sincere that I accepted the movie on its own terms. Continue reading >>

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache

Producer: Nicolas Adassovsky, Yann Zenou and Laurent Zeitoun

Cast: Omar Sy, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Tahar Rahim, Izïa Higelin, Youngar Fall, Issaka Sawadogo, Hélène Vincent, Christiane Millet, Clotilde Mollet and Liya Kebede



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