Saturday, February 28, 2009

7th Art: Les Brigades du Tigre (2006)

"Les Brigades du Tigre" ("The Tiger Brigades," 2006) is a movie about the first motorized elite police squads in France. The brigades were created by Premier Georges Clemenceau (the Tiger) in 1907. As precursors of national law-enforcement agencies such as the FBI, the Brigades were given access to the most advanced technologies of the time so they could successfully confront increasingly sophisticated criminals.

The movie is darker than the excellent TV series that inspired it. Heroes are morally ambivalent, quasi-antiheroes, what gives them a more truthful personality, although at the cost of reduced likability -- a mark anyway of French cinema for some decades now. If you're used to that, you'll probably like this movie.

The movie has some great scenes like a mostly accurate description of the shootout between five hundred police officers and anarchist leader Bonnot, who became notorious for his bold actions during the Belle Époque. It has also some strong dialogues such as this one between Commissary Valentin and Russian Princess Bolkonski (italics are mine):
Commissary Valentin: "A dog's head in paper, does it have anything to do with [Tsar] Ivan [the Terrible]'s legend?"
Princess Bolkonski: "Ivan used dogs' heads to intimidate the boyars, the nobles. Just before his coronation, he sent each one a dog's head."
Commissary Valentin: "What was the message?"
Princess Bolkonski: "That they were mere dogs and that their heads would be next."
Commissary Valentin: "And that is your national hero?"
Princess Bolkonski: "Ivan was cruel because he lived in cruel times. What about Louis XIV or Napoleon?"
Commissary Valentin: "They had too much power."
Here we see two very distinct interpretations of government failure. For Princess Bolkonski state violence was necessary, while for Commissary Valentin it was the result of excessive political power. This distinction is essential, and I can think of only a handful of countries where this movie dialogue could end with a statement like the one by Commissary Valentin and yet remain credible. No need to say, among these countries you'll find France and the US.

As someone that has lived for many years in South America I find this dialogue to be fascinating, to say the least. It also tells me something about the reasons why countries like the US and France prospered while most others didn't.

1 comment:

Laguardia said...

Não sou jornalista nem escrito. Se quer escrevo bem. Sou aposentado. Meu imposto de renda é retido na fonte pelo INSS. Já nosso querido apedeuta tem sua receita de INSS como anistiado político acima do teto do INSS livre de IR.
Minha forma de lutar contra os desmandados implantados por este governo corrupto no Brasil é através de um blog
Gostaria de contar com a presença e dos comentários das pessoas de bem que não se conformam com a desonestidade, a falta de ética e a corrupção em nosso governo.
Um grande abraço