Lamine Ammar-Khodja, director In French and Arabic with English subtitles (82 min., 2012)
Eight years after leaving native Algeria for France, Lamine Ammar-Khodja decides to end his exile on January 6, 2011, the day major riots break out in Algiers. Organised chronologically, the film is a first-person narrative and, just like Aimé Césaire’s Cahier d’un retour au pays natal, to which the director pays tribute, it deals with the difficulties of getting back home. Because this journey isn’t only a private matter, but also an opportunity to go back over Algeria’s recent history, at a time when it could have taken another major turn. The subject is addressed in the tone of comedy, using humour and irony, instead of expected despair. Cheerfully mixing styles, playing freely and gracefully with the cinema medium, and claiming rebellious youth in the name of all the young outcasts, this first film surely reveals an original artistic stance and writing: a new director is born.
- Jean-Pierre Rehm
Sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies and the Center for European Studies.