I had the pleasure to be invited at the private screening of « Brooklyn » a film by Pascal Tessaud. “Pascal Tessaud “Doesn’t sound too American for a movie called Brooklyn! Oui, Oui, Pascal Tessaud is a French director, producer, and screenwriter, who was born in Paris and grew up in the suburbs. At a really young age, he developed a strong interest about hip-hop culture and studied film and literature at the University Paris X Nanterre before working as a cultural animator in Saint- Denis for 3 years.

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Why St- Denis?

If you don’t know about Parisian region St Denis it won’t ring any bells, but why does St- Denis matter Because the movie takes place in St Denis. St Denis is a northern suburb of Paris. Home of famous French rapper Joey Starr; it’s also known for its basilica, and«  Le Stade de France » The national stadium of France. Besides that there are a lot foreigners, but the truth is that it’s unfortunately known for its infamous crime rate with low amount of crime solved by the police.

Brooklyn Made in France

Why Brooklyn if the movie takes place in St Denis, France. Brooklyn is the stage name of the lead actress. Talking about her KT Gorique is a talented young lady. She was born to a Sicilian father and an Ivorian mother. She grew up in Switzerland, where she’s been dancing hip-hop and writing since she was 12. In 2012, she became Swiss champion of « End Of the Weak, » a freestyle, rap improvisation competition, which led her to participate and be the first female to win the « End Of the Weak » competition in the World Championships in New York. All that to say the lady got skills! Supported by Jalil Naciri (Yazid) that you may remember from the movie Taken and Ra- Fal Uchiwa (Issa) who’s amongst the rapper who has won the most competition of his generation; we have a recipe for a great Hip Hop film à la Francaise s’il vous plait !

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The story

Misunderstood by her father and disappointed by her last performance Coralie is a young rapper who goes by the name of Brooklyn. She decides to leave her country Switzerland to move to Paris. She finds a small odd job in a musical non-profit organization, near Paris in St-Denis. During a slam event, Brooklyn is thrown to the stage. Although, she was left broken by her last performance and initially very hesitant. Brooklyn conquers the audience, as she caught the eye of the rising hip-hop star Issa.

I was touched by the sensitivity and the sincerity of Brooklyn. She’s a young woman trying to establish herself as a female Emcee in a male dominated industry. As she goes throughout her journey she firmly stands for what she believes in and mature not only as a performer, but also as a woman. Through her journey you discover her universe and how her environment impacts her. I really enjoyed the music and the fact that most actors were not professional, because it gives it a raw, but yet natural touch. It shows a softer side of the suburbs, which is almost always described as the hood. You see a community where people stick together and where the youth is really trying to do better by taping into their potential.

If you like French Hip Hop, or real life type of story Brooklyn is a must see! You can discover the trailer. The film will be out in France September 23rd.

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