"J'ai vu tuer Ben Barka" may not qualify as the masterpiece of the twenty-first century, it is nonetheless well worth seeing.
Its prime quality is its high informative value. Never so much has been said and in such ...展开precise details about the Ben Barka case as in this film. The first version, "L'attentat" by Yves Boisset was good but a bit vague and confused, but Le Péron and Saïd Smihi's present effort is as accurate as can be about the facts,protagonists (who bear their real names)and period details. It notably amazed me to learn that people connected with the French movie world had been (unwittingly) involved in this political scandal. I am a film buff but I never knew to this day (or had I forgotten?) that director Georges Franju, writer-director Marguerite Duras, actress Anne-Marie Coffinet had something to do with the abduction and elimination of the Moroccan opposition leader.
Another good point is the choice of Georges Figon as the (dead)narrator. As the man is a shady individual (nervously portrayed by fidgety Charles Berling), confusion first prevails but the story being told three times, it gets clearer and clearer as it unfurls. Costa Gavras would have chosen a white knight figure as a hero, not Serge Le Péron, whose accusatory tone is made all the sharper by apparent ambiguity.
Jean-Pierre Léaud is a stunning Georges Franju depicted as a dreamer a bit cut off from the outside world but Josiane Balasko is only fair as Duras. I personally preferred Jeanne Moreau in "Cet amour-là"
A good quality political thriller, not unworthy of its model of the seventies. Go and see it soon, for the houses which show it are far from packed.