During the first euphoric years following the independence of Algeria, two close friends, Djaffar and Hamid, face a promising future. Over the decades, however, secrets and betrayal drive them apart.
The film follows Djaffer who becomes involved with the struggle for independence alongside his friend, Hamid, a ‚Äėrevolutionary'. After incidentally killing a French farmer, Djaffer goes on to fight in the war and emerge a hero. When he returns to his village he discovers his wife is dead and has left behind a child whose paternity is questioned. Hamid, on the other hand, enjoys life as the country's first President and the sophisticated, confident face of a new and modern Algeria. Djaffar, an idealist who is excited by his country's many possibilities in the post-independence, is given little concrete to do. Instead he watches, uncomfortably, as Hamid and his entourage develop a taste for Western luxuries.
A film by Ly√®s Salem
Algeria / France, 2014, Feature Narrative, 128min. | French with Arabic / English Subtitles, DCP
Original Title: El Wahrani / L'Oranais
Director: Ly√®s Salem
Algeria, France | French
2014 | 128min.
Subtitles: Arabic, English
The second feature from Algerian director Ly√®s Salem (Masquerade).
NOTE OF THE PROGRAMMER
Six years after helming Masquerade, Ly√®s Salem presents The Man from Oran, a haunting political drama laced with the agony and angst of men and women who lived through the Algerian Revolution. Interspersed with the heartrending stories of revolutionaries and their unimaginable sacrifices, Salem's latest film is also visually arresting with each frame magnificently composed. Indeed, a world unto itself. The Man from Oran looks at the turbulent political history of Algeria as it fights "not the French occupiers but colonialism' over a 30-year-period through the eyes of two close friends, Djaffer (Ly√®s Salem) and Hamid (Khaled Benaissa). The opening shot shows them going for a drive, when they are ambushed by the French armed forces. However, they manage to escape and join the National Liberation Army. When Algeria wins its independence, it brings along its own problems, treacheries and tribulations. Corruption in political life, falsification of historical facts and personal loss as well frustration brought about by arrogance and thirst for power have all been dealt with remarkable lucidity and conviction. Above all, the movie enumerates through Djaffer's life (an excellent performance by Salem) how tragic separations, breakdown of families, small sacrifices and strong selfish desires change the tone and tenor of a society. -Gautaman Bhaskaran (Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2014)
Director: Ly√®s Salem
Cast: Ly√®s Salem, Boukefa Abdullah, Khaled Benaissa, Djemel Barek, Amal Kateb