The University of Iowa

Algeria Film List


Title: THE ROAD TO LOVE(2003)
Format: DVD
Language: French with English subtitles
Run Time: 70 Min.
Description: This romantic drama follows a young and apparently straight French-Algerian student, Karim, on a sociological quest to find gay Muslims. Through his investigations, the likable and handsome Karim meets a number of gay Arabs, from self-focused Youssef to sexually aggressive Mustapha. But it is handsome flight attendant Farid who leaves a lasting impression. While the friendship between Karim and Farid slowly intensifies, Karim is forced to confront the fact that his investigation will not only reveal the fascinating history and culture of gay Muslims, but also his own homosexuality.
Genre: Drama

Title: Viva Laldjérie = Viva Algeria (2004)
Format: DVD video, DTS stereo
Language: French dialogue with optional English subtitles; closed captioned
Run Time:  113 min
Description: "Three women: a mother, her daughter, and a prostitute have been living in a hotel in the center of town amid creeping fundamentalism. Goucem, the daughter, has chosen a modern, emancipated life, spending steamy weekends in nightclubs. Fifi, her faithful friend, prostitutes herself under the thumb of a local protector. Papicha, the mother, eats pizzas in front of the television, torn between fear and nostalgia".
Genre: Drama

Title:  La bataille d’Alger = The battle of Algiers (1966)
Format: DVD, region 1, widescreen (1.85:1) presentation, Dolby Digital
Language: French and Arabic dialogue, optional English subtitles
Run Time: 123 min
Description: Dramatizes the harrowing events of 1957, a key year in Algeria's struggle for independence from France. Recreates the tumultuous Algerian uprising against the occupying French in the 1950s. As violence escalates on both sides, the French torture prisoners for information and the Algerians resort to terrorism in their quest for independence. Children shoot soldiers at point-blank range, women plant bombs in cafés. The French win the battle, but ultimately lose the war as the Algerian people demonstrate that they will no longer be suppressed.
Genre: Drama

Format: VHS
Language: French and Arabic dialogue, with title, opening credits and subtitles in English and end credits in French.
Run Time: 125 Min.
Description: Dramatic re-enactment of the conflict between Algerian nationalists and French colonialists that culminated in Algeria's independence in 1962.
Genre: Drama

Format: VHS
Language: Narration in English; French and Arabic with English subtitles
Run Time:  59 min.
Description: Chronicles the country's struggle for democracy since independence from France. Tracing the rise of fundamentalist groups in the 1980's and 90's in response to the country's authoritarian leadership, the film examines Algeria's descent into a morass of massacres among the Islamic guerillas, the military, and civilians that have claimed the lives of nearly 200,000 people over the past 15 years.
Genre: Documentary

Title: Vivre au paradis = Living in paradise (1998)
Format: VHS
Language: Arabic with French and English subtitles
Run Time:  96 Min
Description: An Algerian immigre trapped in the slums of Nanterre in the early 1960's seeks to find a better life for his wife and children.
Genre: Drama

Title: Une femme taxi à Sidi Bel-Abbès = A woman taxi driver in Sidi Bel-Abbès (2000)  
Format:  VHS
Language: French and Arabic with English subtitles; English narration
Run Time: 52 Min
Description: "At the death of her husband, Soumicha, mother of three children, has to earn a living and becomes the only woman taxi driver in Sidi Bel-Abbès (Algeria). Soumicha takes us around her city, introducing us to the many contradictory aspects of this society. She acquaints us, in the course of her travels, with other women who, like herself, are struggling for more freedoms."
Genre: Documentary

Title: Imraʾah li-ibnī = Une femme pour mon fils = A wife for my son (1982)
Format: VHS
Language: Arabic with English subtitles
Run Time:  93 Min.
Description: Eighteen-year-old Fatiha is a typical Algerian girl who divides her time between her duties at home and at school until her parents decide she will be married to Hussein. She submits to their wishes and marries a man she has never met. Hussein returns briefly to Algeria from France for the wedding and to get his new wife pregnant, then returns again to his job in France. overwhelmed by this disregard for her feelings and her life, Fatiha begins to look for a means of escape. Based on his acclaimed novel of the same title, Ali Ghalem directs this beautifully-photographed story that examines the psychology of the "married wife" in modern Algeria and some of the possible consequences of such an arrangement.
Genre: Drama

Format: VHS
Language: Arabic/French with English subtitles.
Run Time: 175 Min.
Description: Epic look, beginning just before World War II, at Algeria's struggle for independence from France. Seen through the struggles of one family.
Genre: Documentary

Format: VHS
Language: Arabic with English subtitles
Run Time:  115 Min
Description: "Taking its title and structure from the “Nouba”, a traditional song of five movements, this haunting film mingles narrative and documentary styles to document the creation of women’s personal and cultural histories. Returning to her native region 15 years after the end of the Algerian war, Lila is obsessed by memories of the war for independence that defined her childhood. In dialogue with other Algerian women, she reflects on the differences between her life and theirs. In lyrical footage she contemplates the power of grandmothers who pass down traditions of anti-colonial resistance to their heirs. Reading the history of her country as written in the stories of women’s lives, Assia Djebar’s La Nouba des Femmes du Mont-Chenoua is an engrossing portrait of speech and silence, memory and creation, and a tradition where the past and present coexist."
Genre: Drama

Title: ARAB DIARIES (2000)
Format: VHS.
Language: Arabic and French with English subtitles.
Run Time:  130 min
Description: Five-part documentary series about contemporary life across the Arab world, with a focus on women's stories. [Pt. 1] Birth: the story of a Palestinian woman caught up in a cycle of pregnancies because of social pressure to produce a male child, and two other stories of babies, one in need, the other absent, in Syria and Iraq. [Pt. 2] Youth: four young women striving for independence and empowerment in Algeria, Egypt, and Lebanon. [Pt. 3] Love and marriage: the stories of people confronting obstacles to their personal relationships and happiness in Algeria and Lebanon. [Pt. 4] Work: explores the hopes and aspirations of Arab men and women as embodied in the dreams and realities of flying. [Pt. 5] Home, or Maids in my family: a Moroccan woman confronts her liberal bourgeois family and their servants about the relationship between them."
Genre: Documentary

Title: ISLAM (1995)
Format: VHS.
Language:English and other languages with English voiceover or subtitles.
Run Time: 27 Min.
Description: Algeria is divided in a bitter conflict between Islamic fundamentalists and their authoritarian government. The Indian occupation of Kashmir has resulted in a mounting death toll and severe human rights violations. Moslem women cry out for an end of 2nd-class citizenship throughout the Islamic world. In Bosnia, children suffer the trauma of war. Also includes an interview with Fatima Mernissi, author of Beyond the veil.
Genre: Documentary

Title: OUTREMER (1990)
Format: VHS
Language: French dialogue with English subtitles.
Run Time:  96 Min.
Description: For three beautiful sisters, the lush and privileged life of French colonial Algeria creates an oasis in the center of a harsh desert when revolution and dramatic social change erupts around them.
Genre: Drama
Title: The Africans. Program 7, A Garden of Eden in decay (1986)
Format: VHS
Language: Closed captioned.
Run Time: 60 Min.
Description: More than 70 million Africans suffer from malnutrition while their countries export food to Europe. Economic and agricultural failures and successes are examined in Algeria, Ghana, and Zimbabwe.
Genre: Documentary

Title: Umar qatalatū al-rujulah = Omar Gatlato = Omar it-kills-him (1976)
Format: VHS
Language: Arabic (Algerian dialect) with English subtitles.
Run Time: 90 Min.
Description: A film about the life of a romantic would-be macho man in Algeria.
Genre: Drama

Title: Muriel, ou, le Temps d’un retour  (1963)  
Format: DVD, Dolby digital
Language: In French; optional English subtitles
Run Time: 116 min.
Description: A veteran of the French-Algerian war, Bernard was obliged to participate in the torture murder of Muriel, an Algerian girl accused of sabotage. He is no more successful at recapturing or altering his past than is his stepmother Helene (Delphine Seyrig), who attempts to rekindle a romance with Alphonse (Jean-Pierre Kerien). Practically everyone else in the cast follows the lead of the leads by dwelling on things past to the detriment of the present.
Genre: Drama

Title: Bab El-Oued City (1994)
Format: DVD, Dolby digital stereo
Language: In Arabic/French with optional French and English subtitles.
Run Time: 93 min.
Description: In the spring of 1989 Algeria is still unstable after the violent riots of the previous year. Boualem, who works the night shift in a bakery in the Bab El-Oued district of Algiers, makes a foolish mistake in this volatile atmosphere. After he is awakened by the amplified sermon of a rising Islamic cleric as it blares over a loudspeaker perched atop his building, he steals the speaker and tosses it into the sea.This blunder re-ignites the turmoil and unrest, causing the Islamic extremists to put the district under their control.
Genre: Drama

Title:Rachida (2002)
Format: DVD
Language: In Arabic and French with English subtitles
Run Time: 100 min.
Description: Rachida lives and teaches in an old neighborhood in Algeria. Like most Algerians, she thinks she is far removed from the bloody conflict the country is in, until one day she is attacked by a terrorist group. The terrorists ask her to plant a bomb in her school. After refusing, they shoot her in cold blood. Miraculously, she lives and seeks refuge in a neighboring village.
Genre: Drama