24 Days Review– Film

 

 

One of the worst things that can happen to a parent is the loss of their child.  “I would like Ilan’s death to serve as an alert,” states his grieving mother, Ruth Halimi  ((Zabou Breitman.)

A suspenseful, edge-of-your-seat thriller,24 Days, the story of Ruth Halimi’s ordeal over the kidnapping and murder of her son, Ilan, will mesmerize you.    

 

24 Days -Film Review

Lured by an attractive young woman entering his store, Ilan Halimi (Eric Caravaca) leaves his family Shabbat dinner to meet this siren – only never to return.  Within hours, his family receives the strange email notifying them that their son has been kidnapped.  With modest means, they have no way to pay the exorbitant monies asked by the gang.

 

His father, Didier Halimi (Pascal Elbe) tries to remain cool as they report to the police inspector  Commandant Delcour (Jacques Gamblin).  The police, however, fail to recognize the racial hatred active in the case or the fact that the gang see the “Jew” as a money maker for them. 

 

The suspense increases as the dedicated 400 French police, many staying on the case 24/7, stop and question the leader only to mistakenly let him go.  “If we don’t give them the money, they won’t touch the hostage.”  Was it only just a French/ Ivory Coast scheme to make money, or was it something else?   No one listened to the mother’s instinct telling her that it was more. 

 

24 Days - Film Review

The three days stretch into three weeks as the family, on pins and needles, go along with what the police psychologist tells them to do.  The kidnappers make over 700 calls and numerous demands to the family and their edges wear thin. 

 

Ilan is tortured, burned and, in the end, does not survive.   For the kidnappers, he was just an “animal – just a Jew.”

 

Despite their efforts, the police fail to master the case.  It becomes the first kidnapping death for the French crime task. 

 

The subtitled film, which runs 108 minutes, written and directed by Alexandre Arcady (nee Arcady Egry), deals with the January, 2006 attack by the “gang of Barbarians” against the people of France. 

24 Days - Film Review

 

While not originally labeled an anti-Semitic attack, it becomes clear as the investigation progresses.  When the leader of the gang, Youssouf Fofana (Tony Harrisson) sends his ransom note to a local rabbi and tells him to get the community to pitch in for the asked for 450,000 Euro ransom,  Ruth knows that this has become an anti-Jewish attack. 

 

Later facts show that the gang had approached over eight other Jews as they tried to capture them in their web of deceit and crime. 

 

24 Days -Film Review

Distributed by  Menemsha Films,  24 Days is the winner of many awards. Including the Jerusalem Lia Award, 24 Days, a French film, is a must see.  It will be available on April 24, 2015, not only in theatres in Los Angeles, New York and other cities, as well on iTunes.

 

Well worth your time, and engrossing to the end, it’s easy to see why this movie has won so many awards. 

 

 

 

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