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Three Dancing Slaves (Gael Morel)

Three Dancing Slaves

Three Dancing Slaves (Gaël Morel)

Honestly, this movie was a bit painful at first. It started off so slow I debated if I could get through the entire 90 minutes.

One of the main characters, Marc (Nicholas Cazalé), was an a-typical loser: good looking but with no job, hanging out with the wrong crowd, somehow buying drugs, and having little to no respect to for others including his father with whom he lived and freeloaded.

Marc’s little brother Olivier (Thomas Dumerchez) was more timid, the more practical one of the dysfunctional family. As I waited impatiently at where this story was going, things started to make more sense. The brother Olivier is seen talking to his mother’s pictures as if she were there, confiding in her about Marc’s illegal activities, how messed up their family has beeen since she was gone, and how much he misses her.

The oldest brother Christophe (Stéphane Rideau) then returns from spending time in prison and things continue to fall into place as the reasons behind their struggles appear. We don’t learn of how Christophe strayed into crime, be now that he has made it back into society and he’s determined to make a life for himself. He even becomes disturbed with Marc’s behavior and his father’s unwillingness to run a tighter ship.

Where my heart broke was when we learn why Marc is so messed up, how he was the only one in the family to experience what his mom went through in the hospital during her death, and how that memory continues to haunt him every day. Having been there myself that moment pulled me in. His pain made sense, as did his continued pursuit to dull it in any way he could. Granted, his choices were bad ones, but the universe finally put him in a place where he had no choice but to contemplate the results of his actions.

Olivier also goes down his own path of discovery as he matures into a man, moving in a direction that still holds his family dear, but one that is truer to himself and his lifestyle.

Three Dancing Slaves portrays not only the tormenting emotions a family goes through when they’ve lost a loved one, but how three different sons, all in relatively the same environment, can each grow up to be completely unique individuals.


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