Ciné-Club: Pépé le Moko

Ciné-Club: Pépé le Moko

Sunday, February 28 at 1:00 p.m.
Free admission - Donations encouraged
This event takes place online - Zoom links will be emailed Saturday evening

Register now

For more information on how to participate in Ciné-Club, please see the "about" section at the bottom of this page.

Blame it on the Casbah. This week, we're going super retro with a look at one of film noir's foundational films, Julien Duvivier's seedy story about a French criminal hiding out in the labyrinthine depths of a bustling Algerian city. Join us as we take a look at:

Pépé le Moko (1938)

Rent on iTunes, or watch with a Criterion or HBO Max subscription


From Alsace to Algeria, everyone knows the name Pépé le Moko. The notorious gangster is wanted by the French government, but they can't draw him out of Algiers, where he has hidden himself among his confederates in the sprawling Casbah, a veritable marketplace of conspiracy. The surly Pépé has no intention of leaving, but grows bored of his unending game of limp cat-and-mouse with the authorities. When a chance encounter brings him into contact with a woman who reminds him of his long-lost patrie, he may have the catalyst he needs to break out of hiding - but the police are still watching him, and they don't play fair either. 

Brimming with intrigue and capitalizing off of a marvelously unique setting, Julien Duvivier's early noir drama is not only a compelling story but a fascinating cultural artifact. Pépé is one of cinema's first morally bankrupt antiheroes and Jean Gabin (Grand Illusion; Port of Shadows) portrays the womanizing crime lord with an unforgettably intimidating air. Who among the gangster's nest is redeemable? Let's talk about it! 




Isn’t it time you caught up on all those French classics you’ve been meaning to watch? If you’re a cinéphilefrancophile, or just looking for some fun conversation in these isolating times, we’ve got you covered.
Each week, we’ll reveal the film up for discussion by Wednesday on our social media and the events page of our website. We’ll also include some context to consider while watching, and some links for where to view it. You’ll have the rest of the week to watch the film independently and then we’ll group up online via Zoom on Sunday at 1:00 PM CST to discuss. BYOB (or W). Sound good?  

For the sake of inclusivity, the discussion will be in English. When you register, we’ll send you a link for accessing the conversation group. Come full of thoughts or just full of ramblings – we’ll take either, or both! 

Discussion will be led by Matthew Jackson, curator and animateur of the Ciné-Club since it began in March 2020. Matthew studied film at the University of Chicago and has written on cinema for the politics revue, Toquevillle21.