Banlieue 13

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Name: Banlieue 13 (District B13, District 13, Barrio 13)
Abbreviation(s): B13
Creator: Luc Besson (writer/producer)
Date(s): 2004
Medium: movie
Country of Origin: France
External Links: wikipedia
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Banlieue 13 is a French action movie. It was released in France in 2004, and in Canada, UK and the US in 2006.

B13 is notable for extensive parkour action sequences, achieved without wires or CGI; David Belle, one of the founders of modern parkour, appears as Leito, one of the leads. (Fans of the Die Hard series may have noticed Cyril Raffaelli as the parkour-using assassin who pummels John McClane in Live Free or Die Hard.)


Banlieue 13

B13 takes place sometime in a dystopic near-future. Rather than deal with poverty and social unrest in its banlieues [1] the French government decides to construct a gigantic wall around the entire area and cut off social services, leaving the inhabitants to fend for themselves.

Leïto, a lifelong inhabitant of Banlieue 13, organizes to keep one high-rise apartment building and its residents safe and free from gangs and drugs. In retaliation, a local drug lord, Taha, abducts Leïto's sister Lola. Leïto manages to rescue Lola and capture Taha. However, when he and Lola attempt to turn Taha in to the local police, the chief (wishing to avoid a messy confrontation with Taha's forces) arrests Leïto instead and allows Taha to leave, taking Lola with him.

Six months later, an experimental neutron bomb is stolen, presumably by Taha; it will explode in less than 24 hours, killing millions, unless it is not defused. The French Ministry puts Captain Damien Tomaso on the case. Damien knows that he will have to have a guide to the banlieue, so he arranges to go undercover as a prisoner and hopefully gain Leïto's trust. Leïto sees through him almost instantly. After some face-punching and discussion of social justice issues, they agree to work together to find Lola and defuse the bomb (and remain sexy while doing so). It is pretty classic buddy cop slashnip.

Banlieue 13 Ultimatum

B13: Ultimatum was the 2009 sequel. Notable features:

  • No Lola, but a new female character, Tao
  • Damien spends the entire, lengthy first action sequence in a hot pink hooker dress (for justice)
  • more slashnip when Leïto gets himself arrested to break Damien out of prison



On October 26, 2011 the news of a possible American remake was announced. [2] According to the announcement, the remake would still be produced by Luc Besson, but set in Chicago and titled Brick Mansions. David Belle would reprise his part, joined by Paul Walker (of the Fast and the Furious franchise.)

Fannish reaction on the banlieue-13 community was low-key, with most comments being neither particularly excited, or particularly hostile towards the idea of a remake. [3]


  1. ^ Literally translates as "suburbs," but generally a euphemism for low-income housing projects. Wikipedia, [1]
  2. ^ Deadline New York, Paul Walker In Talks For Luc Besson's District B 13 Remake Brick Mansions. Posted Oct 26, 2011. Last accessed Nov 2, 2011.
  3. ^ entwashian, I just can't. Posted Oct 27, 2011. Last accessed Nov 2, 2011.