Let My People Go!

Movie Information

In Brief: Wild — but warm and winning — comedy invades the Asheville Jewish Film Festival with Let My People Go!. It's all about Ruben, an awkward young gay Jewish Frenchman living with his boyfriend in Finland. When the two have a falling out, Ruben has no choice but to run back to his eccentric family in Paris. Very unpredictable — and funny — events await him there, along with more than a few revelations about his family in the bargain. As a bonus, Pedro Almodóvar's former muse Carmen Maura co-stars as Ruben's mother.
Genre: Comedy
Director: Mikael Buch
Starring: Nicholas Maury, Carmen Maura, Jean-François Stévenin, Amira Casar
Rated: NR

One of the best Jewish Film Festival films I saw was Mikael Buch’s Let My People Go!, a French film that benefits from terrific production design (if towns in Finland really look like the one in the movie, sign me up!), solid direction and the presence of the great Carmen Maura as the mother of the main character. The plot is incredibly complicated and delightfully so. In essence, Ruben (Nicholas Maury) is a young Jewish Frenchman working as a postman and living with his boyfriend Teemu (Jarkko Nieimi) in a small town in Finland. Things change quickly when a man refuses a registered parcel containing nearly 200,000 Euros and insists on giving them to Ruben. Teemu doesn’t believe the story of how he came into the money and promptly kicks Ruben out, sending the broken-hearted young man back to his rather peculiar family in Paris. What happens after that is…well, I think the film should be allowed to reveal that. I’ll just say that the events are charmingly unpredictable even if the outcome probably isn’t (the ending does give Carmen Maura the film’s best line of dialogue). See this one.

The Fine Arts Theatre’s Asheville Jewish Film Festival continues with Let My People Go! Thursday, May 9 at 7 p.m. with an encore show Friday, May 10 at 1 p.m. For more info go to: www.ashevillejewishfilmfestival.com

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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