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Three Dancing Slaves (Unrated)

Release Date: September 2nd, 2005 (NYC-Angelika Film Center) by TLA Releasing.
The Cast: Nicolas Cazalé, Stéphane Rideau, Thomas Dumerchez, Salim Kechiouche.
Directed by Gaël Morel.
In French with subtitles.

BASIC PREMISE: Three brothers slip into a life of gang violence and sex.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: The three brothers, Marc (Cazalé), Christophe (Rideau), and Olivier (Dumerchez) are each very interesting characters who a troubled, aimless life. Marc is a drug dealer; Christophe is just released from prison; and Olivier becomes sexually active with a male friend. They each share sex scenes with other male characters--and at one point, with a transvestite. . Each brother's story has parallels besides just sex and violence; they are all lonely and insecure. The plot has very little tension, though, because it often seems redundant and the pace is occasionally slow. The look of this film is very gritty, but appropriately so. Dumerchez, in particular, is well-cast as the timid Olivier--he is the most likeable character whom you truly end up caring for. There is one exceptionally violent scene when a man is beat up near a cliff and then his dog is thrown onto the rocks--and briefly remains alive. The violence and sex do not add much to the plot, but at least they do add to the character development. Although the three brothers lead aimless lives, this film is not certainly not aimless; it shows a brutally honest "slice of life" from each brother along with the somewhat predictable consequences.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: The plot is mostly depressing and so two of the brothers, Marc and Christophe. However, Olivier is the more romantic and mature, despite that he's the youngest brother. It is not certain whether or not he ends up happy, but he definitely tries the hardest to aim for happiness--and love--more than the other two. His story is the most touching, satisfying, and spiritually rewarding for him.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Minimal plot development and not enough tension/conflict.


THE BOTTOM LINE: Although it has a wafer-thin plot that is occasionally depressing, it has enough character development, harsh realism, and good cinematography to sustain your attention. This will probably not hold the attention of the mainstream crowds who are looking for laughs or plot twists!

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Art-house crowds- Movie Theater (1st Run) Mainstream crowds- VHS/DVD

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