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In Cannes, 'Les Miserables' rings alarm for Paris suburbs

Actors Damien Bonnard, from left, Djebril Zonga, director Ladj Ly and actor Alexis Manenti pose for photographers at the photo call for the film 'Les Miserables' at the 72nd international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 16, 2019. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

CANNES, France — A French film titled “Les Miserables” gives a gritty, modern view of the Paris suburbs that were a setting for Victor Hugo’s classic novel.

The Cannes Film Festival entry “Les Miserables” portrays life in the housing projects of the Parisian banlieue of Montfermeil. It’s also where the movie’s director Ladj Ly is from and still lives.

On Thursday, Ly said he made his movie as “an alarm bell” and a message to French President Emmanuel Macron to see the plight of kids growing up in neighbourhoods like Montfermeil.

“Les Miserables” is competing for the Palme d’Or, the top prize in Cannes.

Jake Coyle, The Associated Press