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  • Writer's pictureJames Rutherford

'13 Tzameti': A Darkly Suspenseful and Foreboding French Thriller

Movie poster for the French film 13 Tzameti starring George Babluani

“13 Tzameti” (2005) is a blistering and razor-sharp French thriller starring George Babluani as Sébastien, an impoverished Georgian immigrant living in France and working construction jobs to support his family.

After the untimely death of his employer, Mr. Gordon, Sébastien learns that he won’t be paid for work rendered—and in a fit of retribution steals an envelope linked to a mysterious job opportunity. Sébastien subsequently follows the directions within the envelope to a secluded house, where he learns that an ambiguous gambling event involving Russian Roulette is to take place—and that he must stand in for Mr. Gordon.

Written and directed by Géla Babluani, “13 Tzameti” is a thrilling nail-biter shot impressively in black-and-white, and imbued with edge-of-your-seat suspense that increases exponentially as the minutes tick by and the rounds of participation progress. Quite a showing from then just-26-year-old Babluani—a real sleeper of an international film worth seeking out.


View the trailer:


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