Les neiges du Kilimandjaro
starring Ariane Ascaride, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Gérard Meylan, Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet
screenplay by Jean-Louis Milesi and Robert Guédiguian
directed by Robert Guédiguian
by Angelo Muredda Committed leftist Robert Guédiguian's newest film The Snows of Kilimanjaro opens with a lottery. The local Marseilles shipyard is set to lay off twenty workers, and faithful union leader Michel (Jean-Pierre Darroussin) has been entrusted with carrying out the draw, eventually calling out even his own name--entered voluntarily despite his privileged position. The titular snows refer not to the Hemingway short story of the same name but to a popular song recited at Michel's premature retirement party, a paean to the middle-class luxuries of touring the world in one's golden years and a good fit for the African vacation his friends have ordered for him and his wife, Marie-Claire (Ariana Ascaride, excellent). Alas, before the couple gets its due, Michel's unionist chickens come home to roost in the form of a humiliating robbery of the travel fund later that evening, which could only have been committed by one of the party's guests--likely one of the unfortunate nineteen other names he called out earlier that week.