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The Man from Oran by Lyes Salem

PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:05 pm
by EleanorT
On Sunday night I went to see this film, with a Q&A with the director Lyes Salem (who is also the scriptwriter and lead actor). I've long been a fan of Lyes Salem, ever since I programmed his award-winning short film Jean Fares in a festival in Paris. His films have gone from strength to strength so I was excited to meet him again and see the film, which as it turned out, was perfect timing for me: I stepped off a plane from Oran just three days before. The film stands out as it explores the aftermath of the winning of independence, and shows the main characters, war 'heros', as not exactly heroic - showing how the jubilance of victory soon met stumbling blocks and less than admirable conduct. This is not a time that has been much or realistically explored by film makers in Algeria. There was some great singing by Amazigh Kateb, the son of much revered writer Kateb Yacine. Here's an example: http://bit.ly/1XYuXSi Lyes Salem affirmed that the film did not meet with any censure.

Re: The Man from Oran by Lyes Salem

PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:57 pm
by uiwangmike
Much of the film is played out in settings like the one in the clip - bars and nightclubs, making it hard to identify as the same country portrayed as it was a few years earlier in The Battle of Algiers. It's as good a film as I've seen this year. The Variety review (may contain spoilers) isn't 100% favourable, but I think it's pretty fair.
http://variety.com/2015/film/festivals/ ... 201443878/
It's nice to hear you were in Oran, Eleanor. I met with extraordinary hospitality when I hitch-hiked there in the early 70s.

Re: The Man from Oran by Lyes Salem

PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:54 pm
by NormanD
Thanks for the recommendation, Eleanor. The clip alone looks fascinating.

Re: The Man from Oran by Lyes Salem

PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:20 am
by EleanorT
uiwangmike wrote:It's nice to hear you were in Oran, Eleanor. I met with extraordiary hospitality when I hitch-hiked there in the early 70s.


Wow I bet that was an amazing experience. And I'm not surprised that hospitality was extraordinary... Now years later when the country has been ravaged, hospitality is still alive and well. This was my third visit to a family that is dear to my heart. They live in Sidi Bel Abbes, aka Petit Paris. It was 7 or 8 years since my last visit. New motorways have replaced the single track road and a high speed train station is being built down the road. It seemed to be the case that people were more relaxed about security although that didn't mean they allowed me to walk down the road to the hair salon with my daughter (we were going to a wedding) unaccompanied. This time I wasn't there for long enough to try to change that. I feel part of the family and I am sure I'll be back.

Norman, Lyes' films are wonderful. His short film Jean Fares might be on youtube... (it's a comedy)

Re: The Man from Oran by Lyes Salem

PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 2:35 pm
by EleanorT
Just adding a thought, not about the film, but about my recent trip to Algeria. As I jumped through one hoop after another to hurry visas through, I could sense some around me getting a bit twitchy about my travel plans for the two of us. I however was confident that I wasn't being irresponsible and that we'd be in good hands and be well looked after. It seemed like an important opportunity to renew ties with this wonderful family who in the past had welcomed me so warmly. Noone would have turned a hair had I said I was heading to Paris...But I didn't need an event such as we've just had to make a point. For those of us who are lucky enough to have friendships with people in other parts of the world, that are not always considered prime tourist destinations for one reason or another, we need to keep those friendships alive in whatever way we can. It's good for the soul and it's good for the world I'm sure! My trip to Japan in May, again with my daughter, staying with two different families dear to my heart, served the same purpose. It's been quite an emotional year! (My grandmother, who was quite an intrepid traveller and scientist until she broke her neck aged 45, never could express any interest or warmth with regard to my experience in Japan, due to stories she'd heard from ex-prisoners of war.) I'm sure I'll be back in both countries sooner than the 8 years and 15 years that it'd been since my last trips. And perhaps I'll go to new ones. My husband sent me this link this morning! http://bit.ly/1MoMptQ I'm so glad I went to both countries this year. As well as my @TunedInLDN twitter account I have one other: @AllAlgerian - there you can see our hennaed hands as per the traditional manner at times of celebration ;)

Re: The Man from Oran by Lyes Salem

PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 3:15 pm
by NormanD
No "like" button to click here - so I'll say Thanks instead.