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Une pure coincidence

Actor, writer and director Romain Goupil’s whole career has been bound up with his political conscience. A radical from the days of May ’68, he has worked with the likes of Chantal Akerman, Roman Polanski, Jean-Luc Godard and Catherine Breillat. He won the prestigious Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for Mourir à 30 ans, and he returned this year with Une pure coincidence. Dealing with a true case of racketeering in Paris, the new film tackles the timely issue of race and politics in modern France. Tipped off by an illegal alien that a Paris currency exchange is actually a front for a white slavery operation, Goupil and a group of six male friends launch ‘Operation Potemkin’, in which they rig a stroller with a hidden video camera and conduct their own clandestine surveillance. The result is a partly staged documentary about six radicals who go beyond a mere investigative expose and embark on a course of direct citizen intervention. A very personal film as well as a political one, Une pure coincidence captures both the humour and the seriousness of clandestine activity. The trade in human traffic, with its front as a legitimate business operation, proves to be a difficult target. As Goupil says, ‘It’s a bit like a bank run by gangsters.’
France, 2002. English subtitles. Colour. Dolby stereo SR. 86 mins.

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