Merzak Allouache, Algerian director

"I wanted to talk about what we lived through"


Merzak Allouache discusses his latest film El Taaib (lit. "The repentant"), which recently won the Europa Cinemas Label for best European film at the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes.

The film tells the story of a former jihadist who returns to his village and hands over his weapon to the police in order to acquire the status of ‘repentant’ and reintegrate into society.

“Through this family drama, I wanted to talk about what we lived through, about what happened afterwards and what is happening now – with no intention of retelling Algeria’s history,” the director told Euromed Audiovisual.

El Taaib evokes Algeria’s difficult past, without being overtly explicit.

“It’s in the gazes, in the situations, in the attitudes – I wanted there to be a certain modesty,” he said.

Interview in French.


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