Struggle for Life

In this absurdist satire (2016), France’s Ministry of Standards dispatches a middle-aged intern (Vincent Macaigne) to French Guiana, in South America, to oversee development of a ski slope. Director Antonin Peretjatko, who cowrote the script with Frédéric Ciriez, uses the ministry’s goal of increasing white, wealthy tourists along the country’s border with Brazil as a metaphor for centuries of French imperialism and colonialism. Yet the clever premise fails as many of the running gags and attempts at old-fashioned slapstick fall flat. Aiming for broad comedy, Peretjatko delivers his message with a wink, though the explosive subject calls for a bang. In French with subtitles.