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I Saw Ben Barka Get Killed Review

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★★★★

A lynchpin in the 1960s post-colonial movement, revolutionary Mehdi Ben Barka disappeared shortly before a conference on Third World action. His body was never found, and no-one claimed responsibility for the crime. In this highly credible suppositional thriller, Serge Le Péron indicts an unholy alliance of the CIA, the Moroccan secret service, the French underworld and an opportunistic old lag-turned-film producer.

This lively, often darkly comic period piece centres on the fanciful dealings of Georges Figon (Charles Berling), who agreed to betray Ben Barka (Simon Abkarian) during negotiations for a radical documentary. It’s subtly staged, knowingly played and utterly engrossing.

Anyone versed in the period will revel in Serge Le Peron's astute use of eyewitness testimony. But even newcomers will be gripped by the blend of showbiz anecdote and conspiracy thriller.

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