Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Movie on the Algerian War of Independence

Living in Paradise (1998, Al Aish Fil Jannah)

Director: Bourlem Guerdjou (Algeria)
Script Writer: Boulem Guerdjou, Olivier Lorelle, Olivier Douy
Cast: Roschdy Zem, Fadila Belkebla, Omar Bekhaled, Farida Rahouadj, Hiam Abbass
Release Year: 1998
Genre: Social
Country: France/Norway/Belgium
Time: 105 min

About the Movie: Set in France in 1961-1962, during the Algerian War, Living In Paradise is the story of Lakhdar (Roschdy Zem), an immigrant construction worker living in the Nanterre shantytown of France.

Unhappy living alone in France, he brings his wife and children from Southern Algeria to be with him, but the family struggles to make ends meet. In this clip Hiam Abbas plays an Algerian nationalist struggling to stir her compatriots into action.

Here she succeeds, gathering many of the residents of the shantytown to participate in a demonstration in support of Algerian independence and the National Liberation Front (FLN). Lakhdar is reluctant to participate, but he eventually goes along and is beaten when French riot police try to break up the demonstration by force. Though fictional, the film underlies the important role played by the large immigrant community in France during the independence movement, as well as the role of women in the movement. Source:

About the Director: Bourlem Guerdjou studied at the Florent drama school in 1982-­1983, and won a directing award from the Fondation de la Vocation. He has also acted in various films, plays and made-for-TV movies. He directed three short films, including the award-winning "Ring" (1996), plus two documentaries. "Living in Paradise" is his first feature film. Source: