French Romantic Drama ‘Samba’ Set for U.S. Theatrical Release in July
Following its 2014 Toronto International Film Festival premiere, French romantic dramedy Samba (2014) has been set for a limited U.S. theatrical release on July 24th.
Directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano (Intouchables), the story follows a Senegalese man, Samba Cissé (played by actor/comedian Omar Sy), who migrated to France 10 years ago and has been stuck in various lowly jobs ever since.
When a bureaucratic slip-up lands him in detention and he is ordered to leave France, he meets Alice (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a recently burnt-out immigration worker who has little concept of the challenges immigrants face.
Despite their vastly different backgrounds, they are drawn to each other and find solidarity in an effort to get out of their dead-end lives.
Marking a shift from the broad integration comedy of Les Intouchables, directors Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache craft a nuanced story here, inflecting the drama of Samba’s predicament with humour that emerges naturally from his growing friendship with Alice, and with a fellow migrant played by the always-engaging Tahar Rahim (A Prophet). There’s even a graceful turn to romance, as Samba and Alice find themselves drawn together by both their similarities and their notable differences.
Directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano adapted the screenplay for Samba from Delphine Coulin‘s 2011 novel, Samba Pour La France.
In a sobering book review, Jean-Marie Volet described it as “a shattering novel that reveals, in detail, the life of a young Senegalese man who entered France illegally and, like millions of others around the world, bears the brunt of political expediency, exploitation and xenophobic fears…”
Produced by Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky, Laurent Zeitoun, and Yann Zenou for Canal+, Gaumont, Korokoro, Quad Films, Ten Films, and TF1 Films Production, the feature was released to French theaters in October 2014 through Gaumont.
The film will open in New York City and Los Angeles on July 24, 2015 via Broad Green. Enjoy the English-subtitled trailer below.