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13 Tzameti [DVD] [2006]

George Babluani , Aurélien Recoing , Géla Babluani    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Price: £5.34 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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13 Tzameti [DVD] [2006] + Man Bites Dog [1992] [DVD] [1993] + La Haine (Special Edition) [DVD] [1995]
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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: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EF7XLA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,425 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Memorable 7 Mar 2006
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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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
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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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's alright. 18 Jun 2007
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a shame 14 Dec 2007
The concept of this film is brilliant, and the black and white cinematography is great. However all suspense is ruined simply by the fact that the story only invests in once character, so it wouldn't take a genius to guess who is going to come out of this thing alive.

It could've been greatly improved by following the stories of all the contestants, showing how and why they are there, that way it would have been a bit more gripping.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Takes you completely by surprise!
I won't give the game away, but this movie really does take you by surprise! I would hate to be in this situation.
Published 14 months ago by Celluloid Hero
5.0 out of 5 stars Son's opinion
I have to rely on my son's opinion on this video and the others that I purchased. He has told me that the storyline was quite good and he thought that the actors played their... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Helier John
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Such an amazing film! classic moody french cinema. If you're into that sort of thing and havn't seen it then you must!
Published 16 months ago by Adam Carrier-Sippy
2.0 out of 5 stars Contrived
I came to this film with no pre-knowledge of it at all; it had some blurb about being 'a more satisfying Fight Club' on the cover, but since I haven't seen that one either, I was... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Straightforward
2.0 out of 5 stars ????
Im not really sure what some people are trying to see in this film, I would not bother personally. It's just a tad dull, and left me scratching my head...13 Tzameti [DVD] [2006]
Published 21 months ago by Mr. Innes J. Reid
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a shaggy dog story
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... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Trevor Willsmer
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and tense, but not for the timid or nervous
This bleak and nihilistic French movie, written and directed by Gela Babluani, a Georgian, is very good...and not for the faint of heart. Read more
Published 23 months ago by C. O. DeRiemer
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant...
This is a fantastic French movie, which had a totally unexpected plot from my perspective. It's very intriguing and a movie I could watch again and again. Read more
Published on 10 July 2012 by Chris
3.0 out of 5 stars Well filmed but ultimately insubstantial
After all of the positive reviews on Amazon I thought that this would be breath-taking. Tzameti is beautifully filmed and it is undeniably an "art" film made with the discerning... Read more
Published on 9 Jan 2012 by T. Clark
3.0 out of 5 stars Unlucky for some
13 Tzameti is a film that, ultimately, never quite reaches the heights that it threatens to in its mysterious and impressively open-ended first half an hour or so. Read more
Published on 12 July 2011 by Steve G
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