VIVA LALDJERIE

Director: Nadir Moknèche
Screenplay: Nadir Moknèche

Cast:
Goucem: Lubna Azabal
Papicha: Biyouna
Fifi: Nadia Kaci
Samir: Jalil Naciri
Chouchou: Abbes Zahmani

Running time: 113'
Year of production: France - Belgium - Algeria, 2003
Rating: Not rated
Gauge: 35mm, DVD (color)

Distributor: Film Movement


“… an unpredictable, naturalistic drama. By turns farcical, personality-rich, and profoundly observant”. Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice


“ [Nadir Moknèche] turns Algiers into a pressure-cooker perpetually on the verge of explosion, where he shakes his characters with a clairvoyance barely tempered by compassion.” Thomas Sotinel, Le Monde


Viva Laldjérie explores the lives of three women in Algiers as they manage to get by despite their daily difficulties. Twenty seven -year-old Goucem works at a local photo shop and lives with her mother Sandjak in a low-rent residential hotel. She is torn between tradition and modernity, between her mother’s desire for her to find a husband and her aspiration to live like a modern young woman. She dates a married doctor and hopes that he will leave his wife, but her dreams are shattered when she discovers that she is not his only mistress. Sandjak, formerly an exotic dancer, hides from fundamentalists who are set on killing her. When she hears that an old cabaret is being closed to make room for a new mosque, she tries to buy it. In the process, she is encouraged to perform again. Fifi, a prostitute who lives next door to Sandjak and Goucem, is usually very busy entertaining men in her room, including influential ones who should not be there. Viva Laldjérie highlights the tensions between modern and traditional society in a country emerging from civil war and dominated by men.

 
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