Ajyal Film Festival 2024

All Films

What the Day Owes the Night (Ce que le jour doit à la nuit)

Special Screening

Alexandre Arcady / Feature Narrative / France / 2012 / 159 min / Colour / DCP
In French / Arabic, English subtitles
Interests: Drama, Romance, History, Religion, War
MENA Premiere


A sweeping epic tale of impossible love set amid the simmering tension of French-Algerian relations from the 40s through the 60s, ‘What the Day Owes the Night’ deftly employs understated melodrama to delve into the experiences of the Algerian middle classes as French colonial rule collapses. The story centres on Younès, beginning when he is nine years old and first begins to struggle with his Arab identity in a society that considers Arabs second-class citizens. On the one hand, Younès attempts to shrug off the appalling, casual racism of the French; on the other, he refuses to engage in any meaningful way with the increasingly incendiary revolution. Sitting on the fence between empire and republic, he cannot live life to its fullest – a poignant situation that director Alexandre Arcady pointedly reflects in Younès’s inability to break the bonds that prevent him from spending his life with the woman he loves.

About the Directors

Alexandre Arcady was born in Algiers in 1947 and emigrated to France at the age of 15. He begen his career with the feature film ‘Le Coup de Sirocco’ (1979). Selected filmography: ‘Hold-Up’ (1985); ‘Last Summer in Tangiers’ (1987); ‘Day of Atonement’ (1992); ‘K’ (1997); and ‘Return to Algiers’ (2000).


Alexandre Arcady
Daniel Saint-Hamont, Alexandre Arcady, Blandine Stintzy
Manu De Sousa
Alexandre Films, New Light Film, Studio 37
Armand Amar
Gilles Henry
Yasmina Khadra
Nora Arnezeder, Fu'ad Ait Aattou, Anne Parillaud, Vincent Perez, Anne Consigny, Mohammed Fellag

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