(Les hommes libres) Engrossing revisionist wartime espionage tale pits Arabs and Jews against the Nazi Occupation. Director Ismaël Ferroukhi’s “Free Men” tells a story of Muslim North Africans in a little-known slice of history. Algerian black marketeer Younes (Tahar Rahim, “A Prophet”) is the romantic hero; a charismatic, effective actor, given to ambiguity, Rahim keeps the viewer afloat in the criss-crossing currents of historical detail about that moment in time even as Ferroukhi’s film suggests another war to come: the French-Algerian conflict of decades on. Portents of dread are sustained with quiet assurance. With Lubna Azabal, Michael Lonsdale, Mahmoud Shalaby, Christopher Buchholz. 99m. (Ray Pride)
“Free Men” plays at Siskel August 19-21 and 23.
Author: Ray Pride
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic, editor of Movie City News and a contributing editor of Filmmaker magazine. He is also a photographer: his history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images is forthcoming. Check a few signs on Twitter (@chighostsigns) as well as daily photography on Instagram (instagram.com/raypride). Twitter: @RayPride. (Photo: Jorge Colombo.)