Out of Life (1991)

Out of Life (1991)
6.9
  • 281
  • Genre: Crime
  • Release year: 1991 ()
  • Running time: 97 min
  • Original Title: Hors la vie
  • Voted: 281

A French photograher is kidnapped and held hostage in a war-torn Beirut. Slowly but surely his integrity and self-respect is broken.

#PersonCharacters
1Hippolyte GirardotPatrick Perrault
2Rafik Ali AhmadWalid 'Chief'
3Hussein SbeityOmar
4Habib HammoudAli 'Philippe'
  • Intense story of a hostage in Lebanon by 8

    The first 15 minutes is some of the best modern warfare footage I've seen, expertly showing the insanity of the war in Lebanon.

    We follow a French photographer as he documents a war in which everyone is turning on everyone. Then the photographer is kidnapped, and we spend most of the film watching the horrors of life as a hostage.

    Scene by scene it's beautifully done. His captors are a very varied bunch, some sympathetic, some psychotic, although we never get to really know any of them, and they do fall into 'types' a bit.

    My biggest problem with the film was the lack of a bigger political context. Unlike, for example, 'Four Days in September', we never really understand what the captors want. For a while that Kafka-esque confusion is interesting, but by the end, it makes the film seem a bit limited in vision. The captors almost all seemed childlike, and not very bright. There was a touch of what almost felt like racism, very odd, considering the film-maker is himself Lebanese.

    In the end, this was tense and exciting as a docudrama (it was based on a real case), but by not having more scope, just missed the chance to be a truly great film.

    That said, it's well worth seeing, and I intend to re-visit it.

  • Hostages and the human condition by 7

    Out of Life is a film about the human condition and the varying relationships between a hostage and his captors. Lebanon's civil war - though always in the background - is not the main focus of the film.

    The viewer is led down the journey of a French journalist's journey as a captive of a Shiite militia in south Beirut. We are shown how different militiamen (and their families) treat the hostage during his time with them.

    While the film humanizes the hostage takers it also evokes empathy for the hostage. A powerful film which can be interpreted in several different ways. It's not a film to watch solely for entertainment. It's a thinking person's film.

  • Review - Hors la vie by 6

    What is interesting with this Cannes Jury Prize winner is the message that it tries to pass through its simple plot. This movie is not plot-centered nor character-centered. It is about war, Lebanon, and precisely Beirut. That is how it differentiates from classic such as Midnight Express.

    That said, the repetitive story and the lack of conflict for the character is a problem as far as I'm concerned. It is interesting at the beginning but becomes more and more unengaging as the film progresses.

#PersonCrew
1Maroun Bagdadidirector
2Mario Galloproducer
3Enzo Giulioliproducer
4Jacques Perrinproducer
5Didier Decoinwriter
6Elias Khourywriter