SAMBA- My Review

2 buckets of popcorn

My Rating: 2 Buckets of Popcorn- Good Movie Worth Seeing…

Omar Sy, a French comedy/drama actor stars as the title character, SAMBA in this French dramedy that chronicles the seemingly endless struggles of undocumented immigrants that are pervasive throughout the western civilization, in Europe as well as in America.

Samba meets Alice in detention and she agrees to try to block his deportation back to Senegal.

Living on the fringes of society, struggling to work and survive while trying to remain unnoticed and in the shadows, Samba is about to be promoted to a full cook’s position after working himself up through the kitchen ranks when he finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. When he ends up in detention pending deportation, he meets 2 immigrant’s rights advocates who agree to do all they can to prevent his deportation back to Senegal.


Tahar Rahim as Wilson and Omar Sy as Samba sharing a moment on the rooftops as they evade the authorities.

Thus begins the story of intrigue that is all too real for an estimated 400,000 undocumented illegal immigrants living in Paris, a city of 2.2 million. Omar Sy as Samba and Tahar Rahim as Wilson meet in the lines, desperately struggling to find work and become friends, each doing what they can to help each other avoid the authorities and live. Wilson is a brash and bold sassy young latino who says he is from Brazil, which makes him more of a lady’s man while Samba has been taught to keep a low profile so as to not draw any undue attention to yourself, and to try to look normal and unnoticeable.

Samba & Charlotte pushing the limits.

Samba has lived with his Uncle for 10 years, successfully evading capture but once he is in the system, the authorities pursue him relentlessly, even arresting his Uncle when he tries to help Samba by loaning him his work authorization card, after living in Paris for 25 years legally.

Even though it is a story of struggles and survival, Samba is also a funny story with many laugh out loud moments as well as a story of suppressed passion and evolving love between friends, family, and lovers. Most of the dialogue is in French with a smattering of Brazilian Portuguese and some Arabic but all is simple to understand with the English subtitles.

I enjoyed this movie a lot, partially because of my own personal struggles with the immigration system which ended with my lover being forced to return to his country after 2 years of being lovers and sharing our lives. Comments, as always, are welcome below!

About Carlin

Opinionated Computer Technician, former Pastry Chef, Realtor, and jack of many trades- master of a few. Avid movie goer who attends advance screenings to give his opinion on upcoming movies. Happily divorced father of two daughters and grandson. A small town guy living in the big city of New York.
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