Hors La Vie Review

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Based on the true-life experience of French journalist Roger Auque, held captive in the Lebanon for 319 days.


For all its incidental, documentary-flavoured interest, however, Hors La Vie is unlike­ly to appeal to anyone lacking a morbid desire to suffer vicariously in a confined space since that, largely, is what the audi­ence must here endure.

Handsome Hippolyte Girardot is French photographer Patrick, bundled into a car by a raggle-taggle assortment of heavies and carted off to a dark hole of a room. In the course of the film, he goes through several transfers of venue (big­ger, smaller, lighter, darker), several changes of guard (friendly, indifferent, cruel), and several swings of mood (naked fear, helpless submission, futile rebel­lion), and makes a bid to escape before finally being released onto the beach by the beautiful bay of Beirut.

Sombre, graphic and vividly capturing the bloodstained chaos of the Lebanon, this is no doubt a faithful reflection of a truly harrowing situation. Patrick is, though, to be frank, a fairly uninteresting character, and, in spite of this movie being tabbed