Before the flames go out is under fire from the “fachosphere”. The new film where Camélia Jordana stars, directed by Mehdi Fikri and inspired by the story of Adama Traoré, is the victim of a sabotage campaign by the far right, Libération reports in a post published Thursday. On the morning of November 15, the feature film's release day, it had a rating of 1.4 stars (out of five) on the specialized site Allociné, even before the first 9-hour screening began. A significant number of new users would have voluntarily given the rating zero stars, forcing the platform to pin a banner on its site warning of the unusual distribution of ratings for this film.
Camélia Jordana also denounces the cyberharassment of which she claims to be a victim. “Who can remain indifferent to the death of a child? Who can remain unmoved by the life of a bereaved family? Spoiler alert: the fachosphere whose few remaining neurons stir at the mere mention of the terms “police violence”,” she writes on her Instagram account. “If this film (...) and its outlook are disturbing, it’s because it says something about our society,” she adds. Before slipping a little word to his detractors: “I will not let anyone question my place and my belonging to the Republic. Like it or not, I embody today’s France!”
Directed by Mehdi Fikri, this feature film tells the story of a bereaved family after the death of Karim, one of the sons, during a police check. Malika, Karim's sister, played by Camélia Jordana, takes charge of the case so that a trial can take place, but her quest for justice will upset the balance of her family.
The filmmakers of the SRF (Society of Film Directors) are concerned in a press release dated November 22. “Other films, including Amin by Philippe Faucon in 2016, Rodéo by Lola Quivoron or Les Engagés by Émilie Frèche in 2022, have already suffered such charges accompanied by hateful comments attributable to far-right groups” , they said in a press release.
“If we, SRF filmmakers, remain viscerally attached to freedom of expression (of which the call for a boycott is part), we strongly denounce these intimidation maneuvers because they in reality seek to practice de facto censorship which does not not say his name, they specify. They thus undermine the creative freedom of filmmakers and the free distribution of works. By attacking the plurality of stories and subjects, it is also the right to fiction, an indispensable element of life in a democracy, that they endanger.
Generally speaking, the film struggles to convince the press. Some reviews are not kind to Mehdi Fikri's first feature film, like that of Le Monde, which gives it a two-star rating and a scathing conclusion: "The film, undoubtedly obliged by its subject, is however far too illustrative to move the aesthetic lines. Same observation at Libération, which regrets that the film does not go beyond “the stage of good intentions”. For Laura Tuillier, the film gets lost in questions of a "psychological order", forgetting "the political side of the bank", and "fails to reveal the logic of what makes up a system".