Ajyal Film Festival 2024

All Films

Omar Gatlato (Omar Gatlato)

Tribute to Algerian Cinema

للترجمة العربية اضغط على

Merzak Allouache / Feature Narrative / Algeria / 1976 / 90 min / Colour / 35 mm
In Arabic / Arabic, English subtitles
Interests: Comedy, Drama
Qatar Premiere


Set in Bab El-Oued, one of the most popular neighbourhoods of Algiers, ‘Omar Gatlato’ broke with Algerian cinema’s customary post-independence heroism by diving deep into the youth culture of the time. In a quite cheerful, if at times ironic manner, it follows young Omar and his closest friends on their daily pursuit of happiness and their attempts to escape the limitations of poor housing conditions, gender segregation, unemployment and inadequate work conditions. At times gently mocking their macho values (the Arabic slang term ‘gatlato’ essentially translates as ‘machismo’) in displaying their ambivalence toward the opposite sex and, for the first time in Algerian cinema, employing the syncretistic slang of urban Algerian youth, the film nevertheless provides a sympathetic portrait of these young men’s aspirations for some sort of alternative culture and a different lifestyle.

Official Film Website

About the Directors

© Brigitte Lacombe

Born in 1944, Merzak Allouache studied film in his native Algeria and subsequently at IDHEC in Paris. ‘Omar Gatlato’ marked the birth of the new Algerian cinema. His other films include ‘Bab-el-Oued City’ (1993), ‘Salut cousin!’ (1995) and ‘Normal!’, which won Best Film here last year. His latest film, ‘The Repentant’, also screens at DTFF this year as part of the Arab Narrative Feature Competition section.


Merzak Allouache
Merzak Allouache
Moufida Tlatli
Ahmed Malek
Smail Lakhdar Hamina
Kamel Mekesser
Boulem Bennani, Aziz Degga, Farida Guennaneche, Rabah Leghaa , Abdelkader Chaou , Krimo Baba Aïssa , Arezki Nabti

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