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Doha Tribeca Film Festival Salutes Algerian Cinema with Special Tribute of Post-colonial Era Films

Oct 31, 2012

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  • *‘Tribute to Algeria: Caught Between Past and Present’* showcases four powerful films and live performance by Safy Boutella at Festival Awards Ceremony
  • Algerian film poster exhibition and short films presentation highlights of special tribute to celebrate 50 years of country’s independence

Doha, Qatar; October31, 2012: Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF), the annual cultural event of the Doha Film Institute (DFI), to be held from November 17 to 24, 2012, will salute the power of Algerian cinema with a special showcase, ‘Tribute to Algerian Cinema: Caught Between Past and Present.’ The special screening of four films that capture the frustrations, resilience and resounding hope of Algeria’s people in the post-colonial era also coincides with the 50th anniversary of Algeria’s independence.

Since independence, Algeria has witnessed several powerful cinematic works that reflect the nation’s struggles to come to terms with the fall-out of the violent revolution. Four such films, Rome Rather Than You (Roma Wa La N’touma) directed by Tariq Teguia Winds of the Aures (Le Vent des Aurès) by Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina; Omar Gatlato by Merzak Allouache; and Nouba of the Women of Mont Chenoua (La Nouba des Femmes du Mont-Chenoua) by Assia Djeber are part of DTFF’s tribute. Critically celebrated classic, The Battle of Algiers by the late Italian filmmaker Gillo Pontecorvo will screen as part of the complimentary community screenings at the Sony Open Air Cinema on the Katara Esplanade.

DTFF will be also screening Algerian films in its competition section including The Repentant (Le Repenti ) by Merzak Allouache; Fidaï by Damien Ounouri and Goodbye Morocco by Nadir Moknèche and the film set in Algeria O My Body! (Ô Mon Corps!) by Laurent Aït Benalla. The tribute culminates with a live performance by renowned Algerian jazz musician Safy Boutella at the official Awards ceremony on November 22, who will perform a special tribute to the nation. The tribute showcase has been organised with support from Agence Algérienne pour le Rayonnement Culturel.

His Excellency Mr Issa Bin Mohammed Al-Mohannadi, DTFF Vice Chair, said: “Algeria’s cinematic history is indeed the reflection of the country’s post-independence era, and a creative expression of the people’s hopes and aspirations. As Algeria celebrates its 50th anniversary of independence, we are honoured to present a special showcase of the country’s powerful films – both from the past and the present – thus offering visitors to the festival a finer understanding of the country’s cinematic history and evolution.”

In addition, Katara Art Centre, in support of the Festival and the Algerian tribute is hosting an Algerian film poster exhibition along with an Algerian short films presentation from November 15 to December 15.

This year, DTFF provides audiences a comprehensive and enriching cultural experience with new screening venues in Doha. Indoor and outdoor screenings will take place at Katara Cultural Village, Museum of Islamic Arts (MIA), and Souq Waqif.

The fourth edition of the Festival will open with Mira Nair’s critically acclaimed The Reluctant Fundamentalist, in addition to showcasing an internationally diverse programme of over 50 films in distinct themed segments. Public participation will be central with the Festival hosting an array of large community events, including Family Day, as well as panel discussions, networking events and educational filmmaking programmes including Doha Talks and Doha Projects.

Tribute to Algeria: Caught Between Past and Present: Film Programme

Goodbye Morocco
Feature Narrative – France, Belgium – 2012
Nadir Moknèche
World Premiere
When ancient Christian ruins are discovered beneath the construction site she oversees, Dounia sees an easy solution to all her problems. When a tragic accident threatens the success of her plan, she abandons her scruples in a selfish attempt to remodel her life, destroying everything she loves in the process.

Feature Documentary – Algeria, France, United Kingdom, Kuwait, China, Qatar, Germany – 2012
Damien Ounouri
MENA Premiere
The struggle for Algeria’s independence was fought by unnamed fighters whose selfless acts threw off more than a century of oppressive colonial rule. El Hadi, the filmmaker’s great uncle, is one such unsung hero. Here, he illuminates the actions of revolutionaries during one of the world’s most inspiring battles for freedom.

La Nouba des Femmes du Mont-Chenoua (The Nouba of the Women of Mont Chenoua)
Feature Narrative – Algeria – 1977
Assia Djebar
Gulf Premiere
Returning to her native region 15 years after the end of the Algerian war, Lila is obsessed by memories of the war for independence that defined her childhood. In dialogue with other Algerian women, she reflects on the differences between her life and theirs. In lyrical footage she contemplates the power of grandmothers who pass down traditions of anti-colonial resistance to their heirs. Reading the history of her country as written in the stories of women’s lives, Assia Djebar’s La Nouba des Femmes du Mont-Chenoua is an engrossing portrait of speech and silence, memory and creation, and a tradition where the past and present coexist.

Le Vent des Aurès (The Winds of the Aures)
Feature Narrative – Algeria – 1966
Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina
Qatar Premiere
Set in wartime Algeria in a small village where peasants supported the guerrilla soldiers hiding in the mountain, The Winds of the Aures narrates the story of Lakhdar Young, who sees his father pass away in front of his eyes, before he is arrested, when the hideout is bombed by the French army.

Omar Gatlato
Feature Narrative – Algeria – 1976
Merzak Allouache
Omar Gatlato is a somewhat cynical but realistic look at the alienation of men in Algerian society.

O My Body! (Ô Mon Corps!)
Feature Documentary – France, Qatar – 2012
Laurent Aït Benalla
World Premiere
Conceived as a bridge between Mediterranean cultures, choreographer Abou Lagraa’s ‘Nya’ is the inaugural work of Algeria’s first contemporary dance troupe. On the eve of its world premiere in Algiers, ‘O My Body’ examines the piece’s evolution and the former hip-hop dancers’ discovery of new ways to use their bodies.

The Repentant (Le Repenti)
Feature Narrative – Algeria, France – 2012
Merzak Allouache
MENA Premiere
The touching story of Rashid, a young jihadist who leaves his mountain hideout to return home in an attempt to resume a normal life. With ‘The Repentant’, Algerian director Merzak Allouache delves into his nation’s ‘black decade’, taking a close look at the lingering effects of extremism and civil war.

Roma wa la n’touma (Rome Rather Than You)
Feature Narrative – Algeria, France, Germany – 2006
Tariq Teguia
Qatar Premiere
An Algerian couple tries every possible way to escape their chaotic homeland for a better future in Italy. Though they may choose Rome over Algeria, there is still an undeclared and undying love for their conflicted country.