Oh Mercy! (2019)

  • Film-Noir, Thriller, Crime, Drama
  • 1h 59m

CLOSING FILM. Available for rental: Friday, June 26, 2020 @ 6am PST→ Monday, June 29 @ 6am PST

Join our Closing Zoom Q&A with Le Professeur Kevin Elstob and the SFFF Team. Sunday, June 28 @ 6:30pm.

Christmas time in Roubaix, in the north of France, one of the poorest cities in the country. Police chief Yacoub Daoud (Roschdy Zem, winner of the 2020 César for Best Actor) is a second generation immigrant who was born and raised in this town that he loves. In the face of despair, deception, and distress, he never loses his calm, and seems to always know who is lying and who is telling the truth. Louis (Antoine Reinartz) has just moved to Roubaix to join Daoud’s crew. Young, awkward, and eager to learn, he is easily misled and often misunderstands those he encounters.

Over the course of several days, Daoud and Louis are faced with a series of cases, including the murder of an old woman. Her neighbors are two young women, the beautiful Claude (Léa Seydoux) and the mousy Marie (Sara Forestier). They live in misery, are addicts, lovers… and seem to be somehow involved. The policemen work to get to the bottom of what happened, each in his own way.

Acclaimed director Arnaud Desplechin returned to his hometown to film the enthralling Oh Mercy!, based on the 2008 documentary, Roubaix, commissariat central, by Mosco Boucault.

One of our favorite actors, Roschdy Zem (The Brigade, SFFF 2018; The Chef’s Wife, SFFF 2015; The Young Lieutenant, SFFF 2006; and Alias Betty, SFFF 2003) gives a remarkable, singularly empathetic performance that is not to be missed.

Not Rated (violence, adult themes, brief nudity).

Original title: Roubaix, une lumière

Reviews

Oh Mercy! is less concerned with discovering who committed a crime than in establishing precisely how it happened and understanding why. You’ve heard of a pitiless gaze? Desplechin’s is the opposite. Stuart Klawans - The Nation

Filmed with intensity and with a cast that commits to each of their roles and nuances, Oh Mercy! delivers exactly what it promises. Stephanie Archer - Film Inquiry

Based on a true story and the 2008 TV documentary that brought it to the attention of the French public, Oh Mercy! turns the routine police work of a commissariat in Northern France into a kind of tragic, fatalistic human drama . … Oh Mercy! is the story of a washed-up city as much as it is a true crime tale. Lee Marshall - Screen Daily

Oh Mercy! Is a Bracing Study of Violence Born of Helplessness. Chuck Bowen - Slant Magazine

Screenplay

Arnaud Desplechin

Screenplay

Léa Mysius

Language

French

Subtitles

English