The last time someone paid for a reference to Algeria's past was Materazzi. Luckily, tonite you do not have to.
Alliance Francaise, along with the Hyderabad Film Club, is screening the French movie Viva Aljeria, on 24th October, at Sarathi Studios. This movie portrays 3 women living in today's Algeria conflicted between modern society and Islamic fundamentalism, between self-determination and dependence.
Sandjak is a flamboyant and headstrong woman living in Algiers who, in her younger days, earned a living as an exotic dancer known as "Papicha". As Muslim fundamentalists begin taking a greater measure of control over the city, the decidedly non-fundamentalist Papicha finds herself living in a run-down hotel with her daughter, Goucem. Goucem is an attractive young girl who works in a photo shop, and has been having an affair with a doctor, though to her chagrin he seems little inclined to leave his wife for her.
Sandjak finds a kindred spirit in her next-door neighbor Fifi (Nadia Kaci), a cheerful prostitute who sees no shame in her profession, and the former dancer makes friends with Tiziri, a young girl who likes Papicha's brash style and wants to learn how to dance.
One day, Sandjak receives word that a celebrated nightclub where she once performed is being turned into a mosque. Saddened and enraged that the city she knew is changing, she decides to find a venue that will still allow her to dance as she sets out to resume her career. Their difficult personal situation and the growing influence of Islam lead to dramatic consequences.
Born in Paris to Algerian parents, Nadir Mokneche spent his childhood and teenage years in Algiers. After passing his Baccalaureate in Paris in 1984, and studying law for 2 years, he interrupted his studies to spend a year living in London. Returning to Paris in 1988, he took classes at the Ecole du Théâtre National de Chaillot, where, with a group of fellow students, he staged "Electra" by Sophocles, taking the role of Orestes.
From 1993 to 1995 he studied at the New School for Social Research in New York and directed 2 short films, "Hanifa" (1st Prize winner at the 1996 school festival) and "Jardin". After 3 years studying Art History at the Perugia University (Italy), he began writing the screenplay for his first feature film, "Harem of Madame Osmane". The film, starring Carmen Maura, was selected in the Official Competition at the 2000 Biennale of Arab Cinema (World Arab Institute).
Please contact Alliance Francaise at 2770-0734 or Hyderabad Film Club at 2373-0841 for further details.