Three years ago, Les Intouchables became one of France’s biggest breakout hits, charming audiences across the world. Much of its charm flowed from its co-star, the exuberant Omar Sy. If you’ve yet to discover the appeal of Sy, just watch Samba.

Samba Cissé (Sy) is a migrant to France from Mali. Washing dishes in the back kitchen of a fancy hotel is hardly his European dream, but it gets worse when a bureaucratic slip-up lands him in detention. There he meets Alice (Charlotte Gainsbourg), an immigration worker new to the job and unused to the hard realities of life on France’s bottom rung. When Samba is released but slapped with an order to leave France, Alice begins to let her professional role bleed into her personal life.

Marking a shift from the broad integration comedy of Les Intouchables, directors Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache craft a nuanced story, inflecting the drama of Samba’s predicament with humour that emerges naturally from his growing friendship with Alice, and with a fellow migrant, played by the always-engaging Tahar Rahim (The Past – JDIFF 2014).

Toronto International Film Festival


Please note that the festival is over 18s only