Directed by Géla Babluani, starring George Babluani, Pascal Bongard, Augustin Legrand, Philippe Passon, Aurélien Recoing, François Rimbau, Fred Ulysse, Christopher Van de Velde and Vania Vilers.
Young immigrant roofer Sebastien (Babluani) is struggling to support his extended family in France. Hired to repair a crumbling house, Sebastien discovers that the owner Godon (Passon) is a morphine addict who seems to be wrapped up in some kind of easy money scheme. When Godon dies before Sebastien is paid, the young man decides to follow the instructions in a letter sent to the deceased in the hope that he can take part in the scheme. But while there's plenty of money on offer, none of it is easy...
The debut feature of Georgian director Géla Babluani, '13' won Best First Feature at this year's Venice Film Festival and is a must for film noir fans. Shooting (ahem) in black-and-white, Bebluani takes the standard noir conventions – overwhelming sense of doom, desperate/greedy/unhinged men – and twists them into a unique and stylish story that seems destined for a US remake.
To reveal more would be to ruin the plot, suffice to say that there's nothing to smile about and the tension becomes unbearable the longer this low-key film progresses.
If what awaits our wide-eyed hero wasn't so grim, you'd swear that this was an extended episode of 'Tales of the Unexpected' -with subtitles. The one thing that's not unexpected in this game of chance, however, is that you just know things won't end well.
Remember Babluani's name – Hollywood will come calling for this director before too long.