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13 Tzameti [DVD] [2006]

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Rent 13 - Tzameti on DVD from LOVEFiLM By Post

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Product details

  • Actors: George Babluani, Aurélien Recoing, Pascal Bongard, Fred Ulysse, Nicolas Pignon
  • Directors: Géla Babluani
  • Writers: Géla Babluani
  • Producers: Géla Babluani, Alexandre Meliava, Bruno Daniault, Fanny Saadi, Jean-Baptiste Legrand
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Revolver Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 3 April 2006
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EF7XLA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,103 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Hard-hitting French thriller. Sebastien (George Babluani) leads an impoverished life with his immigrant family, constantly struggling to find the money for their next meal. When hired to repair the roof of the morphine-addicted Godon (Philippe Passon), Sebastien eavesdrops in on a conversation which appears to offer a quick and easy solution to his money troubles. Taking on the identity of Godon, Sebastien follows a series of clues which lead him ever closer to his impending fate. The trail eventually leads Sebastien into the heart of the French countryside and face to face with a ring of clandestine gamblers who bet on human lives. From this point on there is no turning back.

Customer Reviews

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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Demob Happy on 7 Mar. 2006
Format: DVD
13 Tzameti is a surprising and memorable film that references but does not plagiarise other works while mining a distinct character of its own. Shot in stark monochrome, it opens in a bleak French coastal town where Sebastian, a young Georgian immigrant, is working as a handyman to help support his down-at-heel family. He is hired to work at the house of a woman and her drug addict partner, who he sees staggering out of his mind on a beach and later dies in the bathtub of an apparent overdose. During his time at the house Sebastien overhears some of his employers' murky criminal life and troubled finances, and - fearing that he won't be paid for the job - steals a train ticket and a letter of instructions addressed to his dead boss that he assumes will earn him some money. This begins a bizarre set of circumstances for the young man that I won't spoil by revealing here. Whereas the offbeat, dislocated opening could be misconstrued for something belonging to the pretentious avant-garde, what transpires is part film noir, part surreal nightmare in the mold of Bunuel, with minor similarities to The Deer Hunter and Eyes Wide Shut. However, the film is made in relatively good (though very black) humour, and its protagonist - who rarely speaks - is brilliant as the unwitting innocent.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Feb. 2007
Format: DVD
13 Tzameti is an outstanding, emotionally visceral film from first-time director Gela Babluani, a gripping, mesmerizing tour de force of cinematic expression that collars you in an ever-tightening noose of nervous tension and quickly engulfs you completely in its dark atmosphere. It's so rare for a film to come along and actually succeed at putting you on edge - 13 Tzameti, though, truly delivers the goods. It's not hard to see why the film garnered the award for Best First Feature at the Venice Film Festival and walked away with the World Cinema Jury Prize at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.

I'm not going to go into detail in terms of the plot, as the film is much more effective if you the viewer descend alongside the main character into the depths of civilized depravity. It starts innocently enough, with young Sebastien (George Babluani) doing some repair work on a certain gentleman's roof. While he is working, he overhears this man talking about a letter he is expecting, a letter detailing an opportunity to make a great deal of money. Fate would seemingly have it that this letter would fall into the hands of Sebastien, and he makes the decision to pursue its mysterious promise himself, despite the fact he has no clue what it relates to. (As an immigrant, struggling to take care of his family, he decides to take the risk.) All he finds in the envelope is a train ticket and a hotel ticket, but these start him on a journey filled with cryptic clues, clandestine movements, and deepening mystery. At the end of that journey, when he finally realizes just what he has gotten himself in to, he has no choice but to play everything out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 9 Dec. 2012
Format: DVD
13/Tzameti is bit of a shaggy dog story but, once it gets past the awkward first half hour, one that plays out surprisingly well considering its focussing on one character saps it of any real suspense because we know if anything happens to him, the movie is over. A poor émigré's relation to Intacto that focuses on a different kind of betting on other people's luck and is mainly variations on a theme, it doesn't outstay its welcome even if it doesn't make quite as much of its central conceit as it might.

The UK interview offers a decent transfer with an interview with Gela Babluani and Georges Babluani the sole extra.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Pierson on 18 Jun. 2007
Format: DVD
This film is someone's twist on Russian Roulette. That's it. That's the catalyst and the plot. The film is about nothing else and nothing else happens.

A young man working on some drug addict's house steals a letter from him. The letter eventually leads to the young man becoming embroiled in a Hostel-style underworld of gambling on people's lives. Yes, the pivotal scenes are gripping, but one would have to be a staggeringly inept director not to make them so. The good idea, the twist on Russian roulette, covers a large amount of the running time. I've read a few other reviews that talk about existentialism and the philosophical nuances of this film. Which sounds good. The problem with existentialism is that it is brutally simplistic- existence is harrowing. Existentialism has been a formal artistic consideration for some time now and, personally, I no longer find it sufficient to construct what resembles an existential platform but do nothing new with it. This looks quite harrowing, it is dark, it places its characters in a difficult position. But nothing new is being said. One of the gamblers keeps asking his player to consider his position philosophically. Ever intent, I took this as a heavy-handed hint to do likewise. And ended up scratching my head. Existentialism is a circular consideration- you need ferocious intelligence to break it and give us something new. It's best expression is in Dostoyevsky and Camus. This film just kind of goes through the motions, it says, 'check out how dark these circumstances I've contrived are' and then walks away, apparently satisfied.

It's shot in black and white. The beginning scenes are slow and sombre in a typically French-arthouse manner.
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