Rebecca Zlotowski, Sabri Louatah Talk ‘Savages,’ Canal Plus’ First Big Fall Series

  • Variety
Rebecca Zlotowski, Sabri Louatah Talk ‘Savages,’ Canal Plus’ First Big Fall Series
Toronto-bowed “Savages,” the kinetic, taut political thriller from Vivendi’s Canal Plus, imagines a French Obama – Idder Chaouch, of Algerian descent, played by a stately Roschdy Zem – poised in Paris to rule France as its first Maghrebi president.

If he survives an assassination attempt.

Yet, created and co-written by novelist Sabri Louatah and cineast Rebecca Zlotowski, who also directs, the six-part limited series kicks off, in a total declaration of intentions, 250 miles south in the dowdy city of Saint-Étienne.

From a slow sweep establishing shot, it’s a motley, downbeat mix of high-rise council apartment blocks and hills. Cut to two sisters, Dounia and Rabia Nerrouche, in a car, running through the guest list for the wedding of Slim, Dounia’s youngest.

“Arab, Arab, Arab! Mekloufi, Arab. Sahraoui, Arab. Benboudaud, big fat Arab! All Arabs: Are you serious?” asks Rabia in semi-mock disgust, using a more derogatory word in French for “Arab.
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