Shadow And Act on Facebook

Recent Comments

Trailer For “Hors La Loi” (“Outside The Law”) – A “Battle Of Algiers” Prequel

setif-1945As MsWOO already noted, Algerian filmmaker Rachid Bouchareb‘s film Hors la Loi (Outside the Law), was the other African film that screened in competition at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, which ended over the weekend; and the film, a fictionalized account of the Setif Massacre, caused quite a stir before a frame had even been screened, with French politicians and war veterans demanding that the film be pulled from the festival. Obviously it wasn’t.

It reminded me of another film that captured Algerian liberation struggle from French colonialist rule – Gillo Pontecorvo’s 1966 masterpiece, Battle Of Algiers. That film too was considerably controversial in its day; it was banned in France for a number of years.

Will Bouchareb’s film experience a similar fate? Obviously, 50 years later, some French aren’t quite yet willing to turn that page. Any attempts to paint the French government/army in a less than admirable portrait (even if it’s fact-based) gets French nationalists anxious.

If you haven’t seen Battle Of Algiers, I strongly recommend that you do, especially if you plan on eventually seeing Bouchareb’s film, which will likely travel, even if it doesn’t screen in France. Both films take place at different moments of Algeria under French rule: the Setif Massacre covered in Bouchareb’s film occurred soon after WWII, 1945; Battle of Algiers begins about 9 years later, reconstructing events that took place between 1954 and 1960, leading to Algeria’s eventual independence from France.

Here’s a trailer for Hors la Loi (Outside the Law), and below that is a trailer for Battle of Algiers:

Here’s the trailer for Battle Of Algiers:

2 comments to Trailer For “Hors La Loi” (“Outside The Law”) – A “Battle Of Algiers” Prequel

  • Alece

    I saw this film and was blown away. This was one of my favorites in competition at Cannes. I agree that you need to see Battle of Algiers (which is a timeless masterpiece) before this film. Thanks for posting Tambay :-)

  • paris la nuit

    Hello ,

    I found your article interesting. You just forgot one thing : most of north African people do not consider themselves Africans . They identify more with Europeans .They often consider African as a bunch of ridiculous people , who wear funny (ridiculous) outfits , and are underachievers who can be openly laughed at. There’s a very strong racism against Africans (meaning black people) in Arabic countries .Just go and see for yourself how black people are treated in Tunisia Egypt and so on…
    This is normal : as far as I know , the Arabic world has used black slaves for 1400 years. They was an interruption because of colonialism. Europeans considering both African and Arabic as inferior races.

    So fair enough you categorize this film as being African , but there will be anger of laughters from north Africa.
    The comedian / director of this film might actually be the only one not objecting to that.But then they are Europeans.