by Samia CHALA

52 minutes, 2011

Production : Alif Productions / France

Who could have imagined that people in French towns and in the deepest countryside, from the Vendée to Alsace, would boogie to the old Algerian songs of the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s, re-modelled by two singers from the group Zebda? This film is partly about the rapport between Mouss and Hakim and their public, but by building the film around the two singers’ father, Si Mohand Salah, it is also about handing culture down from one generation to the next. What do we do with the cultural heritage of our parents? How do we live with it? Mouss and Hakim succeed where many politicians and intellectuals have failed: they make the immigrant culture of their parents not only known but loved – in Arabic, in Kabyle and in French. With “Monitored Origins”, Algerian immigration is no longer a political issue or a social problem, but a human story – and a rejoicing.

Samia CHALA was born in Algiers in 1964. Having studied as an engineer, she left Algeria in the middle of the civil war and arrived in France in 1994. Starting as a production assistant, then journalist and assistant director on many documentaries, she has been making her own films for the past seven years, amongst which “Bled-musique à l’Usine” (2006, 52′), “Chahinaz – Quels droits pour les Femmes ?” (2007, 52′), and “Lamine la Fuite” (2009, 90′). Her documentaries are about Algeria, women, exile and, more generally, the waves of migration moving from south to north.