ALGER, LA MECQUE DES RÉVOLUTIONNAIRES
56 minutes, 2016
Director: Ben SALAMA (France)
Production: Electron Libre Productions, Version Originale, Arte France (France)
From the early 1960’s to the mid-1970’s, independent Algeria provided significant support to anti-colonial movements and revolutionaries around the world.
Successive presidents, Ahmed Ben Bella then Houari Boumedienne, made Algiers a place of welcome for those fighting against colonial or racial oppression.
Algiers the White became Algiers the Red. The internationalist Che Guevara established a base here for his guerilla activities in Africa. Eldridge Cleaver, the Afro-American leader, made it a centre for the world-wide spread of the Black Panther Party.
During this period, Algiers was known as the Revolutionaries’ Mecca.
Born in Algeria, French author and director Ben SALAMA arrived in France at the age of 20 and joined the film section of IDHEC in 1973. As a young film critic for Film Français, he rapidly moved into journalism, for many years working freelance before joining France 3.
His work as film-maker reflects his personal history, whether it be his immigrant parents arriving in France or the place of Islam as he knew it in Algeria in the 1960’s. He has drawn from that history a series of reflections and published works such as “Au Nom de l’Islam: Enquête sur une religion instrumentalisée”, published in 2009; and films like “Une Histoire algérienne”, produced for France 5 in 2012.
He has also made the following documentaries: “Nasser, du rêve au désastre” (53 minutes 2016); “1954, la fin d’un monde” (52 minutes 2013), in collaboration with Benjamin Stora; “Naissance d’une nation” (52 minutes, 2013), in collaboration with Thomas Marie.