The Marchers

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The Marchers
La Marche poster.jpg
Directed by Nabil Ben Yadir
Produced by Diana Elbaum
Benoit Roland
Hugo Sélignac
Written by Nabil Ben Yadir
Nadia Lakhdar
Ahmed Ahmidi
Starring Jamel Debbouze
Olivier Gourmet
Lubna Azabal
Hafsia Herzi
Cinematography Danny Elsen
Edited by Damien Keyeux
Distributed by EuropaCorp. Distribution (France)
Release dates
  • 8 November 2013 (2013-11-08) (Arras Film Festival)
  • 27 November 2013 (2013-11-27) (France and Belgium)[1]
Running time
120 minutes
Country France
Language French

The Marchers (French: La Marche) is a 2013 French comedy-drama film by Nabil Ben Yadir. It is loosely based on the events surrounding the 1983 March for Equality and Against Racism.

The film's release in November 2013 coincided with the 30th anniversary of the march.[2]


In 1983 France, teenaged Mohamed (Jallab) is shot by a policeman, but survives. Rejecting his friends' proposal of violent retribution, he proposes political action inspired by Gandhi and Martin Luther King.[1] With two friends, and support from Dubois (Gourmet), the priest of Minguettes (Lyon), they embark on a non-violent March for Equality and Against Racism between Marseille and Paris.


Comparison to historical events[edit]

Answering a question about taking "liberties with the narration when telling a true story", director and co-writer Ben Yadir said: "You focus on the great History: the towns, the march of the torches, the return to Lyon, the death of Habib Grimzi (fr), all these images that pull you back to reality... But at the start in Marseilles, there was a group of 32, and we obviously could not make a movie with 32 characters. We thus created 10 characters around which we built short stories."[3]


The Marchers had theatrical showings in North America as part of the Rendez-vous with French Cinema series 2014 program.[4]


Boyd van Hoeij of The Hollywood Reporter said "[t]he film’s message of equality is loud and sincere but Yadir, here directing his second feature, struggles to maintain a workable entente between the downbeat story [...] with misplaced-feeling broad humor."[5]

Peter Debruge of Variety called it "uplifting story of racial tolerance [which] should travel well."[6]

Le Parisien gave it a positive review.[7]


Award Category Recipient(s) Result
Lumières Awards Best Screenplay Nabil Ben Yadir Nominated
Most Promising Actor Tewfik Jallab Nominated
Magritte Awards Best Film The Marchers Pending
Best Director Nabil Ben Yadir Pending
Best Screenplay Nabil Ben Yadir Pending
Best Supporting Actor Olivier Gourmet Pending
Best Supporting Actress Lubna Azabal Pending
Best Editing Damien Keyeux Pending


  1. ^ a b "The Marchers". Film Society of Lincoln Center. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (27 March 2013). "Nabil Ben Yadir shooting 'Marche des Beurs' film with Debbouze, Gourmet". Screen Daily. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  3. ^ Engelen, Aurore (15 November 2013). "Interview: Nabil Ben Yadir • Director: "France didn’t know how to accept the extended hand before it became a raised fist"". Cineuropa. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Program 2014". Rendez-vous with French Cinema. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  5. ^ Hoeij, Boyd van (29 November 2013). "The Marchers (La Marche): Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  6. ^ Debruge, Peter (2 December 2013). "Film Review: ‘La Marche’". Variety. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "" La Marche ", on y court". Le Parisien (in French). 27 November 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 

External links[edit]