FRENCH FILM ON DRUG TRAFFICKING RAISES HACKLES IN GOVERNMENT

Crime thrillers don't normally distress France's intellectuals or embarrass the government. But then Bertrand Tavernier's oddly-named film "L.627," which has done both, is no ordinary gangster movie.

Named after the penal-code article on drug trafficking, "L.627" caused a furor among Socialists by portraying the government as neither caring about nor understanding the drug problem in France, and as denying police the means to do their job.

Even touchier in a country where racism and illegal immigration are explosive political issues, virtually all the drug dealers in "L.627" are Arab or black-African immigrants. Le Nouvel Observateur, the weekly bible of the left-thinking intelligentsia, asked in a headline: "Is L.627 racist?"

Interior Minister Paul Quiles was stung by the depiction of policemen working on shoestring budgets in sordid, antiquated offices under incompetent or alcoholic superiors. He denounced the film as a caricature. But middle and low-ranking policemen working the streets, who spoke anonymously to Paris newspapers, praised the film.

Mr. Tavernier has also accused Mr. Quiles of persecuting Michel Alexandre, a drug-squad detective who co-authored the script. Quiles denies the charge.

The rawness of the film owes a lot to the filmmaker's powerful ulterior motive: it is dedicated to Tavernier's son Nils, a recovered heroin addict.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK