In January of 2015, a series of attacks by radical Islamic extremists began in Paris with the headquarters of satirical magazine Charlie Hedbo the first focus. Eleven journalists were killed, with four more incidents claiming the lives of 8 more people over the next few days. Shock was felt around the world, but millions began to turn up on the streets of France, as well as other countries, in support of the journalists and innocent civilians whose lives were taken. Among all of this, the remaining writers at Charlie Hedbo decided to move forward with their next issue, showing just how important freedom of speech should be.
The shocking attacks covered in Je suis Charlie will still be fresh in many viewers’ minds as they sit down to watch this documentary from father and son duo Daniel and Emmanuel Leconte. By combining earlier interviews with many of the journalists killed in the attack as well as interviews with those who survived, we begin to see the importance of Charlie Hedbo and freedom of speech in general.
It’s not just the attacks that are explored but the reasons why and the reactions that came from it. It’s here where the film starts to explore ideas we may not have thought of during the attacks. It’s certainly inspiring to see the country come together as well as people around the world, but when you watch the surviving journalists struggle to continue working, you really understand how important free speech is.