Ladj Ly’s directorial debut set for UK release date

LADJ LY’S explosive directorial debut Les Misérables will be released in UK and Irish cinemas on 4 September.  

Inspired by the 2005 Paris riots, and Ly’s short film of the same name, Les Misérables is a hugely topical provocative insight into the tensions between neighbourhood residents and police.

DIRECTORIAL DEBUT: Ladj Ly (Photo: Francois Durand/Getty Images)

The story follows Stéphane (Damien Bonnard) who has recently joined the anti-crime squad in Montfermeil, in the suburbs of Paris, France, where, Victor Hugo set his famed novel Les Misérables.  

Alongside his new colleagues Chris (Alexis Manenti) and Gwada (Djebril Zonga) – both experienced members of the team – he quickly discovers tensions running high between local gangs.

When the trio finds themselves overrun during the course of an arrest, a drone captures the encounter, threatening to expose the reality of everyday life.

The film premiered in competition to great acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival where it won the Jury Prize.

It has also been nominated for a variety of awards including a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

Speaking to AFP on the Academy Awards red carpet in February, the Malian-French director said he was very proud to represent France at the Oscars.

“For me, this film is a film that is important, that must exist, that must be seen,” Ly said.


LOST, the latest venture from the creator of Secret Cinema will invite the public to participate in a series of activities including exclusive public screenings of Les Misérables in undisclosed outdoor London locations from 25 August.

The screenings are in collaboration with artist artist Joseph Toonga, curator of Born to Protest and black youth-led movement A Tribe Named Athari.

The project comes as cultural and youth services come under unprecedented financial pressures following COVID-19. 

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