Bab el-Oued is a turbulent, historic district of Algiers. Here the young Boualem works in a bakery. One afternoon he wants to get some rest at his home, he is startled by the voice of the cantor. Put in a sudden anger, Boualem dismantles the speaker with fierce determination and throws it into the sea. BAB-EL OUED CITY is the moving chronicle of a youth generation whose future is obscured by the economic crisis and growing intolerance: a universal image of an entire generation of today.

Algeria 1994
Regie: Merzak Allouache
93 min, 35mm, OmU read more


Two young Swiss lovers have to interrupt their journey through the desert because of the breakdown of their vehicle. Social meeting place is a small office with the only pay phone in the surrounding area. Faced with this unexpected situation, the two start to get to know the people and their culture totally differently. While he aims to fix the damage of the truck as fast as possible in order to continue their journey, she quickly takes to the mysterious strange culture.

Algeria/CH 2009
Regie: Mohammed Soudani
90 min, 35mm, Farbe, OF mit dt. UT
read more


ESSAHA is an Algerian musical comedy, in which a group of juveniles defend “the Square“, a place where they live, against a company which plans to build a shopping mall right there. None of them has got a job or a chance for it. Violence, drugs and illegal migration are everywhere, and the threat of an acquisition of their living space by the concerns is huge. To write a humoristic musical about all that seems inappropriate. However the ironic songs in different music genres create an atmosphere of hope which makes everything a little brighter. read more


Algiers, 1957: The “National Liberation Front“ in Algeria arms for resistance to the French colonial rule. While small-time criminal Ali la Pointe ascends to the leader of the Kasbah guerillas in Algiers, the measures of the french troops led by Colonel Mathieu become more drastic. Gillo Pontecorvos movie is a charge filmed in documentary-style realism. It shows the most important events of the Algerian war. Using amateur actors, Pontecorvos hard-edged black-and-white film refuses a taking of sides or a glorification of war. Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival 1966. read more

Little Senegal

For more than 30 years, Alloune worked in the History of Slavery Museum on the island of Gorée near Dakar. Not long retired, this sixty-five-year old widower decides to go on a trip to the USA to try and trace his ancestors who were sold as slaves to the New World more than a hundred years ago.

Algeria/F/D 2010
Regie: Rachid Bouchareb
97 min, 35mm, Cinemascope, Farbe, französisch-englische OmU


Allouache did not visit his home country of Algeria ever since 1993, when he shot his film Bab el-Oued City there. When the situation in the country seemed to calm in 1999, he went there and came back with the idea for L’autre monde, a story about Algeria and about the dead who are now apparently being forgotten. A love story with a sharp look at reality, and a tribute to the women of Algeria. Yasmine, a Française of Algerian parentage, works in Paris in a lawyer’s office and is about to marry her boyfriend Rachid, a successful computer programmer. Then, without any reason, Rachid suddenly disappears. Yasmine gets one more message from him, in which he tells her that he has left for Algeria and has joined the army there. Yasmine decides to go looking for Rachid in Algeria, a country she barely knows, whose language she doesn’t speak, and which is torn apart by civil war. There is not much to be seen of this in the capital, but when Yasmine travels to the countryside, to the barracks where Rachid is stationed, she finds herself in a different world. From an officer, she hears that Rachid is missing after a terrorist attack and that he is probably dead. Yet she carries on looking, deeper and deeper into dangerous territory. read more


Omar is a young and lively Algerian who holds a good job and lives in a crowded apartment with his sisters, his mother and grandparents. He loves to listen to Arabic and Indian music, to party with his friends, and to dream about women. A friend of his gives him a tape; when he listens to it, he is fascinated by the woman’s voice. That same friend arranges for him to meet the woman, who is totally different from what he had imagined on hearing her voice.

Algeria 1976
Regie: Merzak Allouache
90 min, 35mm, OmeU
read more


For having bravely refused to put a bomb in her school, Rachida, a young teacher, finds herself in a nightmare. In spite of the daily terror, she avows not to let herself be defeated.

Algeria/F 2002
Regie: Yamina Bachir
100 min, 35 mm, Farbe, arab.-franz. OF mit dt. UT
Cannes 2002 – Un certain regard