26 September 2023


Start the conversation

Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

Director: Jérôme Salle, Palace Films

Country of Origin: France

Language: French, Russian

Tension abounds as this espionage thriller depicts the remarkable story of a French public servant who unwittingly found himself in conflict with one of modern era’s most powerful and dangerous forces: Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

Based on incredible true events, Jérôme Salle’s absorbing film sees Gilles Lellouche star as Mathieu, a gregarious and dedicated diplomat who accepts a posting to Irkutsk as the head of Siberia’s Alliance Française.

He had hoped the change would be good for his family and struggling marriage, but before long Mathieu’s staging of cultural events and support of artistic expression sees him fall afoul of local authorities.

Accused of a terrible crime, he soon realises someone has fabricated a case with FSB; he has been framed. Arrested, imprisoned and isolated, Mathieu has nowhere to turn. Defending himself is impossible, the French authorities are helpless … it seems he has no choice.

Mathieu appears to be targeted as he’s placed under house arrest, charged with inconceivable crimes and the advice is he will be found guilty and imprisoned. The case against him is irrational and he faces a tough choice.

As an innocent man, the prospect of a long prison sentence is unimaginable. The other alternative is that he attempts an escape and, in the process, risk being shot.

As he finds his way across Russia toward the Estonian border, he is pursued by several sets of resolute armed officers. Not a lot out there to help him except for faculties, good fortune and the consideration of strangers.

With top-notch direction and excellent performances by its entire cast (including Joanna Kulig, Cold War), Kompromat is cinema at its most compelling and entertaining.

  • Kompromat is in cinemas on 1 December

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.