Programmed by Olivier Barlet
During the Algerian War of independence, more than 2 million Algerian civilians were forcibly displaced by the French Army and resettled in camps. The uprooting was documented but has since been swept under the carpet. Back in Mansourah, his native village, Malek and his daughter Dorothée-Myriam document a historical memory that most young people know little about, despite its being unprecedented in the upheavals it led to in rural Algeria. Between France and Algeria, a girl and her father challenge this amnesia.
After six years of research to document this incredible historical amnesia, Dorothée-Myriam Kellou brings her father back to his village, with the help of director Hassen Ferhani and his camera. We hear his account of the deportation in an unforgettable shot that lasts almost 5 minutes: the road disappearing into the winter as seen from the back of the tarp-covered truck transporting him. At the moment, there is nothing neutral about unbolting statues; what makes him speak out is finding in Nancy the statue of Sergeant Blandan, “hero” of Algeria’s conquest, displaced from Boufarik, where it “blocked my path” every day on his way to work! This film about rupture restores a historical archive… this massive rural exodus, a key episode in understanding contemporary Algeria, has been almost completely erased. However, this internal and internalised exile, which the film is tuned into, led to countless wanderings and migrations.
Film critic and editor for Africultures