Director of Halimi Murder Film: ‘Ilan’s Death Reflects a Sick Society’ (VIDEO)
by Joshua Levitt
French Jewish film director Alexandre Arcady said the murder of Ilan Halimi, a young Parisian Jew killed by a self-proclaimed Islamist, said, “Ilan’s death reflects a sick society,” according to French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche.
Describing the housing development where the crime occurred, Arcady said, “Among 500 families living there, some knew what happened but no one spoke… My film is a warning against indifference.”
Arcady’s film, 24 jours: la vérité sur l’affaire Ilan Halimi, or “24 Days: the truth about the Ilan Hamili affair,” was inspired by a book with a similar title written by the victim’s mother, Ruth.
“We haven’t seen acts of this kind since the Holocaust,” his mother said after the murder eight years ago, according to the UK’s Jewish Chronicle on Thursday.
Halimi, 23, was kidnapped and tortured for 24 days by a gang led by Youssouf Fofana, described by the JC as, “the extraordinarily cruel, Paris-born fifth of seven children of immigrants from the Ivory Coast.”
Halimi was found naked, handcuffed and bound to a tree near a railway station in February, 2006, and his body had been mutilated. Still alive, he died on the way to hospital.
Halimi was targeted because he was Jewish, falsely assumed to come from a prosperous family. A €450,000 ($625,000) ransom was demanded. But Halimi was a €1,200-a-month assistant in a cellphone shop, and his family was of modest means.
Fofana was 28 years old when convicted three years later, and given life imprisonment with a 22-year minimum. Some of his 26 accomplices, jailed with him, are already free, the JC reported.
France’s Le Journal du Dimanche described the film as “relentless, distressing and without hatred,” while Le Nouvel Observateur said Arcady succeeds brilliantly in his desire to make the tragedy of Halimi “a duty to remember.”
Arcady, a pied noir, was born Jewish in French-administered Algiers, and emigrated to Paris in the 1960s. He said that when French police began investigating the crime, just six months after riots that began in Muslim-dominated suburbs swept the nation, they denied any anti-Semitic aspect of the crime. “The mindset was not to pour oil on the fire,” he said.
Watch a trailer for the film below: