France bars teens from seeing documentary on radical islam

Salafistes, a controversial documentary about radical Islam, will be off-limits for those under 18, France's Minister of Culture announced on Wednesday.

France bars teens from seeing documentary on radical islam
A screengrab from Salafistes.

Minister for Culture Fleur Pellerin made the announcement shortly before the first showings of the film.

She said: “Given the bias of broadcasting scenes of extreme violence without commentary, I decided to follow the advice of the committee (for film classification).”

She said that her role was “to respect the work of the author” but also to consider “the necessary protection of young people”.

The film will be accompanied by a warning message about its extreme content, and the age restriction must be clearly advertised in posters and in the cinemas themselves.

The film comes two months after jihadists attacked Paris and as France battles against radicalisation of young people, hundreds of whom have left home to wage jihad in the Middle East.

France is is concerned about the number of youths who are self-radicalizing online, often by watching numerous propaganda videos by terror group Isis.

The committee voted on the 18 rating “by a large majority” – an unusual move, since it is very rare for a documentary to be rated unsuitable for children.

Salafistes, directed by François Margolin and Mauritian journalist Lemine Ould Salem, features members of the radical organization Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (AQMI) and shows everyday life under sharia law. The film was shot in Mali, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania between 2012 and 2015.

Propaganda images and jihadist videos feature prominently – with no voiceover or commentary.

A particularly shocking scene shows the killing of policeman Ahmed Merabet in last year’s January attacks, without blurring or pixelation. However, Margolin said he would edit this scene.

France is still under a state of emergency – which could be extended even further – after the November 13th terrorist attacks which killed 130 and injured hundreds.

Recent months have seen a crackdown on radicalization, leading to three 'radical' mosques being closed, as authorities are unwilling to take any chances.


French films with English subtitles to watch in November

As days get shorter and temperatures drop, November is a great month to enjoy a warm and comforting moment at the cinema. Here’s a round up of the French movies with English subtitles to see in Paris this month.

Cinema in France
Photo: Loic Venance/AFP

The cinema group Lost in Frenchlation runs regular screenings of French films in the capital, with English subtitles to help non-native speakers follow the action. The club kicks off every screening with drinks at the cinema’s bar one hour before the movie, so it’s also a fun way to meet people if you’re new to Paris.

These are the events they have coming up in November.

Friday, November 5th

Boîte Noire – What happened on board the Dubai-Paris flight before it crashed in the Alps? In this thriller Matthieu, a young and talented black box analyst played by Pierre Niney (star of Yves Saint-Laurent among other movies) is determined to solve the reason behind this deadly crash, no matter the costs. 

The screening will take place at the Club de l’étoile cinema at 8pm. But you can arrive early for drinks at the bar from 7pm. 

Tickets are €10 full price, €8 for students and all other concessions, and can be reserved here.

Sunday, November 14th

Tralala – In the mood for music? This new delightful French musical brings you into the life of Tralala (played by Mathieu Amalric), a 48 years old, homeless and worn-out street singer, who one day gets mistaken for someone else. Tralala sees an opportunity to get a better life by taking on a new personality. He now has a brother, nephews, ex-girlfriends, and maybe even a daughter. But where is the lie? Where is the truth? And who is he, deep down?

The night will start with drinks from 6pm followed by the screening at 7pm at the Luminor Hôtel de Ville cinema. There is also a two-hour cinema-themed walk where you’ll be taken on a “musicals movie tour” in the heart of Paris, which begins at 4pm.

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here. Tickets for the walking tour cost €20 and must be reserved online here.

Thursday, November 18th

Illusions Perdues – Based on the great novel series by Honoré de Balzac between 1837 and 1843, this historical drama captures the writer Lucien’s life and dilemmas who dreams about a great career of writing and moves to the city to get a job at a newspaper. As a young poet entering the field of journalism, he is constantly challenged by his desire to write dramatic and eye-catching stories for the press. But are they all true?

The evening will kick off with drinks at L’Entrepôt cinema bar at 7pm, followed by the movie screening at 8pm. Tickets are available online here, and cost €8.50 full price; €7 for students and all other concessions.

Sunday, November 21st

Eiffel – Having just finished working on the Statue of Liberty, Gustave Eiffel (played by Romain Duris) is tasked with creating a spectacular monument for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris. It’s ultimately his love story with Adrienne Bourgès (Emma Mackey) that will inspire him to come up with the idea for the Eiffel Tower.

After a first screening last month, Lost in Frenchlation is organising a new one at the Luminor Hôtel de Ville cinema, with pre-screening drinks at the cinema bar. 

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here

Thursday, November 25th

Les Héroïques – Michel is a former junkie and overgrown child who only dreams of motorbikes and of hanging out with his 17-year-old son Léo and his friends. But at 50 years old, he now has to handle the baby he just had with his ex, and try not to make the same mistakes he has done in the past. 

The film will be followed by a Q&A with the director Maxime Roy who will discuss his very first feature. 

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here.

Full details of Lost in Frenchlation’s events can be found on their website or Facebook page. In France, a health pass is required in order to go to the cinema.