Saturday, September 29, 2007

Algerian Movie against Extremism

Bab el Oued City (1994)

Director: Merzak Allouache
Script Writer: Merzak Allouache
Cast: Nadia Kaci (Yamina), Mohamed Ourdache (Saïd), Hassan Abdou (Boualem), Messaoud Hattou (Mess), Nadia Samir (Ouardya), Michel Such (Paulo)
Release Date: November 10, 1994
Genre: Political Drama
Time: 93 minutes
Director of Photography: Jean-Jacques Mréjen
Sound: Philippe Sénéchal
Editing: Marie Colonna
Music: Rachid Bahri

Plot Synopsis: Bab El-Oued City, released in 1994 during the height of the violence that rocked Algeria for nearly a decade, gives and inside glance at the rise of Islamic radicalism in the medina of Algiers and its appeal for the population. (...)
(...) The central character in this scary drama is Boualem, a young baker. Throughout his neighborhood the fundamentalists, locally led by the fanatical Said, have placed loud-speakers upon the rooftops to broadcast their hateful propaganda. Unable to stand the noise any longer, Boualem destroys a speaker and tosses it into the sea. Said promptly seeks to mow him down for his impudence. Said's sister, a liberal who resents having to wear a veil and behave in traditional ways, has been seeing Boualem. He loses his job after Said pushes his boss, who actually despises Said, but fears retaliation, to fire him. Surrounding the main plot are many sub stories, each of which sharply illustrates the dangers of fundamentalism. Source:; Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide.
About the Director: Merzak Allouach was born in Algeria. He studied film at IDHEC and has directed documentaries, comedy programs for Algerian television and five feature films: "Omar Gatlato" 1976, "Les aventures d’un héros" 1977, "L’homme qui regardait les fenêtre" 1983 and "Un amour à Paris" in 1986 (awarded the Perspectives du Cinéma Français prize in Cannes). His latest film "Bab El-Oued City" was presented in the "Un certain regard" section of the Cannes Film Festival in 1994. Source:
The movie is available at the Middle East Media Research Institute's Library