Friday, December 7, 2007

Algerian Movie on Modernity and Tradition

Viva Laldjérie
Director: Nadir Moknèche
Script Writer: Nadir Moknèche
Cast: Lubna Azabal, Biyouna, Nadia Kaci, Jalil Naciri
Release year: 2004
Genre: Drama
Country: Algeria
Time: 117 Minutes

About the movie: "Viva Laldjérie explores the lives of three women in Algiers as they manage to get by despite their daily difficulties. Twenty seven-year-old Goucem works at a local photo shop and lives with her mother Sandjak in a low-rent residential hotel. She is torn between tradition and modernity, between her mother’s desire for her to find a husband and her aspiration to live like a modern young woman. She dates a married doctor and hopes that he will leave his wife, but her dreams are shattered when she discovers that she is not his only mistress. Sandjak, formerly an exotic dancer, hides from fundamentalists who are set on killing her. When she hears that an old cabaret is being closed to make room for a new mosque, she tries to buy it. In the process, she is encouraged to perform again. Fifi, a prostitute who lives next door to Sandjak and Goucem, is usually very busy entertaining men in her room, including influential ones who should not be there. Viva Laldjérie highlights the tensions between modern and traditional society in a country emerging from civil war and dominated by men." Source:

About the Director: Viva Laldjérie is the second film by Nadir Moknèche. His first film, The Harem of Madame Osmane, opened in theatres to critical acclaim in France in 2000 after screening at numerous international festivals. After growing up in Algiers, Nadir studied in France, and then at New York's New School for Social Research, where he made two shorts, Jardin and the award-winning Hanifa. Source: