Goliath: Alliance Française French Film Festival 2022
Get ready to be transported to France! The Alliance Française French Film Festival runs from 1 March to 24 April around Australia, with a jam-packed program – screening 42 films that present a window into French life, including the best from Berlin, Venice, and Cannes film festivals. There are also Australian premieres and world premieres. Take time to check out the program.
I’ll be reviewing films as I watch them – here is today’s offering:
‘Goliath’ is an environmental political thriller co-written and directed by Frédéric Tellier. It follows a lawyer’s dogged investigation into the malpractices of a multinational chemical corporation selling carcinogenic pesticides.
Reminiscent of ‘Erin Brokovich’ and ‘Thank You For Smoking’, this film is based on real events and lays bare the intersection of health issues and corporate greed, dirty deals, and dirty politics. At the outset, we are told the story is fictional but any resemblance to people or events is no coincidence.
The cast includes some recognisable faces in the talented Gilles Lellouche (also starring in the festival’s ‘Farewell, Mr. Haffmann’), Pierre Niney, and Emmanuelle Bercot.
Patrick (Lellouche), a passionate Parisian lawyer specialising in environmental law, is determined to expose the corporation’s lies about the safety of a pesticide that led to the death of his client’s daughter.
We see the lives of people affected by pesticides – a couple whose farmer daughter died using them to increase her crop yield; a scientist who used to work for a pesticide company; a sports teacher’s journey to becoming an activist after her husband develops cancer from exposure to their neighbour’s pesticides.
There is a fascinating look at the young lobbyist Mathias (Niney) working for the corporation – how he lies so easily and so well, how he deals with politicians, scientists, and the general public to keep the truth from being revealed; his social media strategies; as well as his super lavish lifestyle, and his complete lack of morals to maintain it.
Mathias and his colleagues cheer themselves on as the Merchants of Doubt, skilfully convincing people that pesticides help farmers; create jobs, and the environmentalists are overreacting.
There’s a lot at stake. The chemical company wants the EU to approve the use of the pesticide. This film shows just how dirty and vicious the fight is when profits are at stake – everything from aggressive social media lies and misinformation, bribing officials and scientists, to ruining careers and threats to families.
‘Goliath’ sounds like one of those boring ‘worthy’ films, but it draws you in not only because of the riveting performances, but also because it sheds light on the machinations of power – multinational lobbyists and government, and the dirty tactics used. Fascinating stuff!
Have you seen this Goliath yet? Share with us in the comments below.
Don’t miss Cynthia’s reviews of:
– Farewell Mr. Hoffmann –
– Goliath –
– Paul WR’s Last Journey –
– Velvet Queen –
– Men On The Verge of A Nervous Breakdown –
– OSS 117 From Africa With Love –
Leave A Comment