13 Tzameti
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While working on a roofing job, Sébastien (George Babluani) overhears the owner of the house, Jean-François Godon (Philippe Passon), talking about a job that he’s going to be working on. Godon doesn’t say what he’ll be doing—although he swears that it doesn’t involve drugs. All he says is that it’s going to make him a lot of money. He just needs to wait for his instructions to come by mail.

On the day the instructions finally arrive, however, Godon dies of an overdose. In all the confusion after his death, Sébastien finds the envelope—which includes a train ticket and a receipt for a hotel room in Paris and nothing more—and takes it with him. Though he has no idea what the job is or what it will involve, Sébastien figures he has nothing to lose. Now that Godon is dead, his steady, paying job as a roofer is over. So he gets on the train and heads for Paris. Once he gets there, he follows the instructions he’s given, and he goes out to do whatever he has to do to earn the money—but little does he know that he may not live long enough to collect his payment.

The film’s action and suspense increase exponentially once Sébastien finds out what he’s supposed to be doing. But I’m not going to ruin all the fun by telling you. You’ll just have to see for yourself.

13 Tzameti is a stripped-down, black and white French film that, while simple and rather to-the-point, is also extremely gripping. It takes a while to get into the story—and it’s not always easy to try to sort out all of the characters while reading their dialogue in subtitles. But once the real story begins, it’s agonizingly suspenseful. It’s not a fast-paced film, which only adds to the tension. Instead of jumping right into the story, it builds slowly—as you follow Sébastien on his way to Paris, as he follows his instructions, wondering what’s in store for him. Around every turn, the suspense builds even more. And once Sébastien discovers what his “job” entails, each step of the way is more and more intense—so intense, in fact, that you’ll feel it. The story draws you in more and more, until you can’t possibly tear yourself away. It clutches you by the throat, until you can hardly breathe.

When it ends, you’ll feel the same way you do after getting off a roller coaster. It’s stressful, but it’s thrilling. It makes your heart race. And though you’ll feel a little dizzy when it’s over, you’ll want to do it again.

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