Culture

'BAC Nord', a racist plan? Above all, good cinema

Do not look for BAC Nord in the halls. You can see it on Netflix. The domestic use of the cinema is replacing with excessive speed the natural and ancestral space for the exhibition of films. And there is a lot and predictable filfa on this platform, but they have also produced extraordinary films like Rome , The Irishman and Mank. I review them, as at least once a month. And its charm remains. That others (apparently there are millions and in many countries) have fun and fascinate with series that I find insufferable such as The paper house and The squid game .

BAC Nord is directed by Cedric Jimenez. It must be worrying for him, someone who declares himself on the left, the paradox that Marine Le Pen has fervently advised the public to go see her. For the French to become aware of this terrible reality and of the urgency to regain control. And what does the director tell? And how do you do it? It portrays the very hard work of three policemen who pursue drug trafficking in the peripheral neighborhoods of Marseille, populated mainly or en masse by immigrants. And it is a losing battle for the supposed police authority. The criminals have infinite power in their habitat, they feel armored and invulnerable, they express their anger and their contempt towards that powerless police squad that intends to harass them, that uses informants trying with little success to give a transcendent blow to the drug traffickers, which they will discover progressively that they will be used by the always sordid politics, that they will be the scapegoats if the shady things get out of hand and threaten to create a scandal. The cops try to do their job, to be useful in some way. They do not have an epic air, they are not heroes, they cheat in search of results, fear invades them, their methodology is not orthodox, sometimes they break the rules, the balance requires them not to be expeditious, they maintain codes with their informants that will end betraying in the name of survival, they will be betrayed by bosses faithful to the rule of for himself, they are cannon fodder.

And I don’t know if the story and the characters are an invention of the scriptwriters or if it reproduces reality. What I have clear is that you find it credible because it is told with muscle, frenetic rhythm, expressive power. These losers transmit to you their anguish, their vulnerability, their permanent humiliation, their Pyrrhic victories, their lack of future. It is very well shot. And I do not know if in their royal fiefdom the criminals are masked, they are mostly Muslims or Islamists and they act as if the law does not exist for them. What I see for a couple of hours is attractive, tense, violent, gloomy cinema. And that the most rigorous and reliable documentaries capture the authentic reality in those neighborhoods of Marseille that seem to be boiling.

The narrative tone, the atmosphere and the complex description of those police officers so human, so Away from epic, glamor, corruption as the norm, it reminds me of the one used by Rodrigo Sorogoyen in the magnificent series Anti-riot . With the difference in the initial argument that the mission of these riot police is to evict people who can no longer pay the rent on their house from the corrala where they survive, confronting the community of neighbors and the activists who try to protect them against eviction. And it is all plausible. The scare, the nervous breakdown, the determination of some and others. There are no villains on either side. Only people who rebel against injustice and others who must fulfill their thankless duty. In BAC Nord, there are villains displaying their strength. And cops who end up being victims. From something always sinister known as the system, which always wins even if it has to sacrifice its most fragile servers. And I don’t want to imagine the barbarism that the National Front could implement if it took power. It is not his fault that this remarkable film tries to offer it as an example of what he thinks about the state of things.

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