In the movie 24 Days it is January of 2006 and a beautiful young woman walks into a Parisian cellphone shop, looks around, and asks for the sales attendant’s number.
Later, she calls asking to meet. Who could have known Ilan, the 23 year old man, was flirting with death? The next time his family hears from him is through a cryptic online message from kidnappers demanding ransom.
French director Alexandre Arcady delivers one of the most “wrenching and politically astute” films to come out of France (Screen Daily). Based on a book co-written by Ilan’s mother, Ruth Halimi, Arcady’s cinematic adaptation offers a searing insight into his vicious ordeal, the violent world of the gang of Barbarians, and the harrowing experience of his family waiting and hoping the Police would save their son. For 24 days the Police, insistent upon handling the case as a normal for-ransom kidnapping, fail to recognize the anti-Semitic hatred of his abductors. Many opportunities to save Ilan are missed or squandered as his family receive nearly 700 phone calls, insults, threats, photographs and sound recordings of their tortured son.