Below is the first trailer for Ladj Ly’s highly anticipated sophomore feature LES INDÉSIRABLES (original French release title BÂTIMENT 5), which makes its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this week!
It also has a France release date of Dec. 6, under the title BÂTIMENT 5.
The trailer is minus English subtitles.
Synopsis: After the sudden death of a town’s mayor, Pierre, an idealistic young doctor, is appointed to replace him. He intends to continue the policy of his predecessor, who dreamed of rehabilitating this working-class neighborhood. Haby, a young French-Malian woman living in one of the dilapidated tower blocks, refuses to see her family driven out of the neighborhood where she grew up.
LES INDÉSIRABLES stars Alexis Manenti, Jeanne Balibar, Steve Tientcheu, Anta Diaw, and Aristote Luyindula.
Some context: The French release title, BÂTIMENT 5, translates to English as BUILDING 5 (B5), which was part of a real-life housing commune in Montfermeil, called Cité des Bosquets.
Montfermeil is of course famous as a key location in Victor Hugo’s LES MISÉRABLES. Today, Montfermeil is a working-class area with a mostly African and Arab immigrant population and was the setting for Ly’s 2019 feature debut LES MISÉRABLES.
BÂTIMENT 5 was a large 10-story structure — “an architectural utopia” in the 1960s that turned into a nightmare of “ghettoized neighborhoods” 30 years later.
The building was demolished in 2020, and its site is now “a vacant lot filled with rubble and weeds.”
While Ly has not officially confirmed that his film is directly connected to the real-life BÂTIMENT 5 story, given the synopsis, it shouldn’t be a surprise if it is.
Goodfellas is handling sales of the film at #TIFF23.
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