Deep dive into Les Indesirables | Q&A with Ladj Ly at TIFF 2023

  • 2023-09-18
Step into the captivating world of ‘Les Indesirables (Batiment 5),’ the latest feature film by award-winning director Ladj Ly. Experience the enthusiastic reception the film received as it made its grand premiere at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival.

After three years of writting and a year of shooting, Les Indesirables (Batiment 5), Ladj Ly’s highly anticipated feature film, premiered at Toronto International Film Festival on September, 8th. At this special occasion, Ladj Ly hosted a Q&A session with the film’s lead actors Anta Diaw and Alexis Manenti. The event was met with an incredibly enthusiastic reception as they took the stage.

Director Ladj Ly explained that following the success of his acclaimed film « Les Misérables, » he aimed to create a more grounded, political, and socially engaged work. « Les Indesirables (Batiment 5) » tackles the persistent issues that affect the lives of inhabitants in suburban and neighboring areas. The film places urban development at the heart of its narrative, shedding light on housing problems and the violence of displacement, eviction, and gentrification – a deeply personal story for the director, who grew up in a similar area and lived in a building that was part of an urban renewal plan.

If you haven’t had the chance to see it yet, get a glimpse of the film by watching the trailer below:

During the Q&A, Ladj Ly also elaborated on the character development in the film. The audience follows Pierre (played by Alexis Manenti), a pediatrician who unexpectedly finds himself chosen as interim mayor. On the other hand, Haby (played by Anta Diaw) is the president of a public housing association and a resident of one of the city’s « 10-storey favelas ». Faced to Pierre’s lack of political experience and familiarity with the less affluent members of his constituency, she decides to run as a candidate in the upcoming mayoral election. Through their journeys, the film underscores the absolute necessity of finding solutions by uniting everyone, even when hope seems scarce.

Highlighting the depth of the characters, Ladj Ly expressed his immense joy in working with the lead actors. Alexis Manenti, who has been collaborating with the director for over 20 years, shared his thoughts on the intimate experience of working with Ladj Ly. Anta Diaw, making her debut as a lead actress, described the seamless experience of working with the director and emphasized the absence of pressure, even in light of the success of « Les Misérables. »

You can listen to the full Q&A by watching the video below, but please be cautious as it contains details for both the beginning and the end of the film:

Congratulations to Ladj Ly and everyone who worked on this film. Our team is very proud to have contributed to bringing this important story to the screen.


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