Original title:Goliath
Director:Frédéric Tellier
Running time:122 minutes
Release date:Not communicated
France, a sports teacher by day, a worker by night, actively campaigns against the use of pesticides. Patrick, an obscure and solitary Parisian lawyer, is a specialist in environmental law. Mathias, a brilliant lobbyist and a man in a hurry, defends the interests of an agrochemical giant. Following the radical act of an anonymous woman, these three destinies, which should never have crossed, will collide, clash and ignite.

Mulder's Review

"Without it being a course that I set for myself, my films so far start from or deal with a true story. They therefore go through a long phase of immersion and investigation before seeing if a subject that interests me, intrigues me or disturbs me, can concretely give birth to a film. Goliath was no exception to this rule. I was in the process of writing L'affaire SK1 when I discovered the issue of pesticides by accidentally stumbling upon a small book that did not speak exclusively of pesticides but more broadly of the alert on the agricultural environment and on what we eat. - Frédéric Tellier

The third film destined for a cinema release by the director Frederic Tellier after L'affaie SK1 (2014), Sauver ou périr (2018) testifies once again to his personal commitment to address real facts with strong controversy that it is the fight of a fireman, a serial killer (Guy Georges) and in this film the danger of the use of pesticides causing cancer and death of many people. One doubts that the freedom of expression of French cinema can allow this director to express himself freely from proven and non contestable facts. However, as this film shows so well, the truth has a price and it can be very high.

Patrick (Gilles Lellouche) is a lawyer in search of respectability who works alone in Paris and does not win every case. His firm is in financial trouble and his ex-wife has left him.  This environmental law specialist is not baited by the lure of money but seeks above all to bring out the truth and defend difficult cases. Matthias (Pierre Niney), on the other hand, is a careerist who lives only to earn as much money as possible and has no moral principles. This young lobbyist is the best in the business and knows how to hide the truth to defend his client Phytosanis, a powerful agrochemical company. France (Emmnauelle Bercot) is an activist and worker in an anti-pesticide organization and is doing everything she can to get Tetrazine (a Phytosanis product) banned. These three people will be brought to cross paths, to confront each other to bring out the truth.

Goliath is certainly by its permanent will to remain realistic a bloody film about the crusade of a lawyer perfectly interpreted by Gilles Lellouche who will have to face legally an adversary ready to the worst actions in particular by using violence to dissuade those who could speak or to pay many bribes to make people shut up. This drama reminds us how important it is to be careful with the information we receive and, above all, to base ourselves on real facts and documents. Even if finding them is often like finding the grail, the main character's quest will speak to all viewers. In the same way we can only praise once again the intensive acting quality of actor Pierre Niney even if in this film he plays a devious and manipulative character whose humanity seems to have disappeared at the cost of a state of mind that everything can be bought. The very careful dialogues, the perfect rhythm of the story immerses us totally in a fascinating investigation as it was the case in the SK1 case, one of the previous films of this director. 

The approach of the director Frédéric Tellier is easily similar to that of a documentary, if only because of the text opening this film and reminding the audience that the facts narrated here are true and that only the names of the characters have been invited, just like some of them. The result is an ecological thriller worthy of the great Hollywood films of the 70's in which the intelligence of the spectators was put to contribution and especially led them to question their current world. Of course, this desire to remain realistic means that the film does not have any particularly memorable scenes or courtroom confrontations. Apart from a few scenes taking place in the precincts of this place in which justice must triumph, most of the film's scenes serve to show that it is a matter of showing the facts and that these pesticides created to increase production are accompanied by substances harmful to our health. The constant is as relentless as the film is consistently accurate and a credit to French cinema. Far from being only dedicated to be commercial and to bring in a maximum of money, a film must be first and foremost a means of expression challenging the spectators and not only a succession of special effects or memorable action scenes but which too often hide the weakness of the scenarios sanitized to the possible.

Directed by Frédéric Tellier
Produced by Juien Madon
Written by Simon Moutaïrou, Frédéric Tellier
Starring Gilles Lellouche, Pierre Niney, Emmanuelle Bercot, Laurent Stocker, Yannick Renier, Marie Gillain, Jacques Perrin, Malik Amraoui, John Paval, Chloé Stefani, Sébastien Fouillade, Brigitte Masure, Lorène Devienne, Josiane Pinson, Johann Cuny
Music by Christophe La Pinta
Cinematography : Renaud Chassaing
Edited byVirginie Bruant 
Production companies : A Single Man Productions
Distributed by Studiocanal (France), Frenetic Films (Suisse romande), O'Brother Distribution (Belgium), TVA Films (Québec)
Release date : March 9, 2022 (France), March 25, 2022 (Quebec)
Running time : 122 minutes

Seen on March 9, 2022 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 10 seat A18

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