Just as he did in Days of Glory, writer-director, Rachid Bouchareb, delves into the past with a sensitive eye in Outside The Law, which releases exclusively at Cinema Nouveau Theatres on 18 November 2011.
Outside The Law continues where Days of Glory ended: It’s 1945 and World War II has come to an end, but for Algerian brothers Messaoud (Roschdy Zem), Abdelkadar (Sami Bouajila) and Said (Jamel Debbouze), the battle is not over. Although their fortunes have seen them scatter across the globe after losing their home in Algeria, they are reunited in the fight for the independence of their homeland.
Rachid Bouchareb’s inspiration for the film was kindled from questions around cultures and what it means to be an immigrant. Born to Algerian parents in Paris, he most famously explored the issue in Days of Glory (also known as Indigenes), where he paid homage to the many African soldiers who fought to free Nazi-occupied France during World War II.
The film was a box office hit and won the Collective Interpretation Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006; but more importantly, it had a tremendous social impact, encouraging then president Jacques Chirac to recognise the role played in the war by veterans, ultimately increasing their pension as a result.
In Outside The Law, Bouchareb’s focus is on exploring the choices we make as human beings and through the viewpoints of the three main characters, he highlights the fact that we all choose the lives we want. And, although he stresses that his films are movies and not documentaries, he is also proud of the role they play in helping people learn about the past: “The French, Algerians, North Africans and Africans need to know about the colonial past,” he insists.
Outside The Law runs for 135 minutes and is rated 16 V.
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