'24 Days' Retells A Brutal Crime With Little Explanation

April 23, 2015 10:03 PM

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24 Days recounts the grisly fate of Ilan Halimi, the young Jewish Parisian who in 2006 was kidnapped, held for ransom, and tortured beyond what his body could endure. But it's not Ilan who addresses the camera at the beginning of the film. It's his mother, Ruth Halimi (Zabou Breitman).

This prologue reflects, in part, the docudrama's source: a book about the case written by Ruth with Emilie Freche. But it also announces director Alexandre Arcady's strategy. The movie is both a crisp real-life thriller and a meditation on what can be known, or is even knowable, about other people's...

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