Algeria. 1954. Lone middle-aged schoolteacher Duru, played with increasingly unquiet soul by Viggo Mortensen (‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy), lives a peaceful, spartan life, in an isolated valley. Forced to escort a young alleged murderer to court in a distant town, the reluctant Duru comes face-to-face with his own past, in an increasingly dangerous journey through the shale and rebel-filled mountains, to redemption. But whose redemption?
Cowed villain Mohamed, played beautifully by Reda Kateb, is arguably the more fascinating character of the two, his story peeling away to reveal a tragic core.
Far From Men is a character-driven, action-packed western leavened with heart, moments of levity, and a stillness befitting the extraordinary Algerian landscape. From Albert Camus’ short story L’Hote, and directed by David Olhoeffen who also collaborated on the screenplay adaptation with writer Antoine Lacomblez, Far From Men draws one in with decent performances, stunning cinematography, and a genuinely heart and gut-gripping climax.
Unfortunately I forgot to post this film review back in August when I saw it at the cinema and concluded that: “Far From Men is the best drama I have seen recently, and I would hasten thee to a cinema on the pronto.”
Now it’s November, I’d say saddle yer steed and hasten thee to a DVD or VOD!
c. Kylie Lawrence 2015.