France’s maverick film-maker Mathieu Kassovitz (La Haine) returns in full form as the star, director and co-writer for this major production about a botched uprising attempt by a handful of New Caledonian separatists who asked for their independence in April 1988, just as presidential elections were about to take place in France.

As socialist President François Mitterand faced right-wing Prime Minister Jacques Chirac in the race for the presidency, the New Caledonia crisis turned into just one more weapon for them to wave against each other. The media threw oil on the fire and mixed messages were sent to the forces dispatched to restore order, all of which lead to a brutal military response and many unnecessary victims among the native Kanaks.

Based on the memoirs of Captain Philippe Legorjus (played by Kassovitz himself), who led the police unit in the field, Rebellion looks for all purposes like a tightly made action drama, with effective top notch camera work, nervous editing to pump energy in every scene, and a cast driven to perform at full steam.

Dan Fainaru, Screen International