The Connection DVD cover

Directed by Cédric Jimenez, 2014

Altitude

In 1971’s The French Connection, Gene Hackman pursued drug traffickers with doggedness and grit in New York. But what was the provenance of their heroin?

That’s the premise behind this pacy, compelling Franco-Belgian thriller, in which newly appointed police magistrate Pierre Michel (charismatic Jean Dujardin from The Artist) remorselessly hunts down 1970s Marseille gang-boss Gaëtan Zampa and his slick narcotics import-export business.

It’s a film with a high body-count, but this is no bloodbath — rather, an intimate portrait of two very driven family men. Handheld shakycam gives the action a ring of authenticity, just as clothes, cars and music — and even crockery — give a powerful flavour of the period.

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