Yamakasi (film)

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Directed by Ariel Zeitoun
Julien Seri
Produced by Virginie Silla
Written by Luc Besson
Philippe Lyon
Julien Seri
Starring Châu Belle Dinh
Williams Belle
Malik Diouf
Yann H'Nautra
Guylain N'Guba Boyeke
Laurent Piemontesi
Charles Perrière
Music by DJ Spank
Cinematography Philippe Piffeteau
Edited by Yohann Costedoat
Stéphanie Gaurier
Yann Hervé
Claude-France Husson
Célia Lafitedupont
Christine Lucas Navarro
Charlotte Rembauville
Distributed by Europa Corp.
Release dates
  • 2001 (2001)
Running time 90 minutes
Country France
Language French
Budget €6,950,000
Box office €20,371,195

Yamakasi – Les samouraïs des temps modernes is a 2001 French movie featuring the Yamakasi.


The Yamakasi are seven young sport nuts of obviously different ethnic backgrounds who are all dedicated to parkour. They live in France in a banlieue, a ghetto especially designed for paupers and traditionally inhabited by immigrants from former French colonies. The motley group uses their sport to enjoy themselves without drugs and to gain recognition in a peaceful way. While they consider themselves good examples for youths in the banlieue, the local chief of police feels otherwise. From his point of view they are dangerous because children could hurt themselves by trying to emulate them. When the Yamakasi are again reported for buildering, he assigns his men to arrest them. On this occasion each single member is introduced to the spectators of the film too:

Following this meeting two pupils enjoy themselves by climbing in a tree. A third little boy who is with them suffers with an inborn cardiovascular disease. When he tries to join them he has a cardiac arrest. In hospital his mother learns an immediate heart transplantation is imperative. The chief physician suggests to save the child by buying a heart from a shady broker. He stresses that this is the only solution but not supported by their health insurance. He demands from the boy's family to pay 400,000 Francs within 24 hours.

The head physician advises the family to ask their friends for support. This includes the Yamakasi who go and talk to the head physician himself and ask why a child is supposed to die only because his parents are poor. They insist he would contact the hospital's board of directors. When he refuses to phone either of them they steal the list of names and decide to walk in the footsteps of Robin Hood.

They split up into 3 groups which each robs one or two houses of the board of directors. The first two robberies are successful, however one of the groups gets chased out of a house by dogs and is captured on camera. The police realize that the board of directors is being targeted and attempt to catch the Yamakasi in their next robberies, but are unsuccessful. The Yamakasi finally converge on the mansion of the head of the directors. The police arrive quickly and surround the house. With no chance of escaping, they instead gather all of the loot from the robberies into a bag and toss to Baseball's friend who pawns it off for the needed amount of money.

The Yamakasi are questioned by the police and each give the same story which the investigator finds ridiculous. However Sitting Bull's cousin who is an inspector backs up their story, leaving the investigator with no choice but to let them go. They arrive at the hospital just as the head physician is attempting to raise the price on the heart and convince him to authorize the surgery at the price they are giving him.


  • Ousmane Dadjacan aka "Zicmu" (played by Yann Hnautra), who has a liking for overly loud music and has occasionally been reported for disturbance loud music. He is able to escape police with considerable ease by jumping from one balcony to another without letting go of his ghettoblaster.
  • Michel Lucas aka "Tango" (played by Laurent Piemontesi), according to the chief of police "the banlieue's Fred Astaire", who works as a metalworker and never misses a chance to pull an elegant stunt
  • Abdou N'Goto aka "Rocket" (played by Guylain N'Guba-Boyeke), who got his nickname for his superior running skills
  • Bruno Duris aka "the Spider" (played by Williams Belle), who is very inventive in regards to abseiling and who never fails to impress his girlfriend
  • Malik N'Diaye aka "the Weasel" (played by Malik Diouf), an accomplished gymnast
  • Oliver Chen aka "Baseball" (played by Châu Belle Dinh), a gifted pitcher who works in a supermarket and reportedly once stopped a shoplifter by pitching a tin can.
  • Ousmane Bana aka "Sitting Bull" (played by Charles Perrière), a construction worker who loves heights and a wide view

See also[edit]

The Climbing Girl

External links[edit]