Ladj Ly: A Rising Star in French Cinema

Who is Ladj Ly?

Ladj Ly is a French filmmaker of Malian origin. He was born in 1978 in Montfermeil, a suburb northeast of Paris, which became well-known following the 2005 riots. Ly started his artistic career as a graffiti artist, and he became interested in cinematography when he discovered his father’s old camera.

Statistics on Ladj Ly

Here are some interesting statistics on Ladj Ly:

  • He is best known for his 2019 film “Les Misérables”, which received widespread critical acclaim and won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
  • “Les Misérables” was also nominated for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards, making Ly the first black director to be nominated for that category.
  • Ly’s debut film, “365 Days in Clichy-Montfermeil”, was released in 2007 and focused on the daily life of the residents of his neighborhood.
  • Ly is also a co-founder of the film collective Kourtrajmé, which aims to promote diversity in the French film industry.

Ladj Ly’s Impact on French Cinema

Ladj Ly has been praised for his raw and authentic depictions of life in the banlieues (suburbs) of Paris. His films confront issues such as police brutality, racial discrimination, and social injustice. Many critics see his work as a response to the lack of representation of minorities in traditional French cinema.

In an interview with The Guardian, Ly explained his motivation for making films: “I want to show the invisible people of France. The poor, the disenfranchised, the minorities. The people who the French establishment tries to drown out with their propaganda.”

Ly’s films have been compared to those of Spike Lee, who is known for his politically charged films that tackle issues of race in America. This comparison is particularly relevant given Lee’s recent comments at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival, where he criticized the lack of diversity in the film industry and called for more representation of black filmmakers.

External Links on Ladj Ly

If you want to learn more about Ladj Ly, here are some great resources:


Ladj Ly is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the French film industry. His films are powerful and thought-provoking, and they challenge dominant narratives about life in the banlieues of Paris. As the film industry continues to grapple with issues of representation and diversity, directors like Ladj Ly offer a glimmer of hope for a more inclusive future.

  • Ladj Ly – IMDb
  • Ladj Ly’s Les Misérables: We Are All Part of the Same History
  • Ladj Ly’s ‘Les Misérables’ Is About a Bigger Problem Than Just France
  • Ladj Ly on Les Misérables, the French riots and police violence: ‘I put as much as I could into the film’
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