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"Beur is Beautiful" film festival continues

Posted by Judy Riley on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009

Event Date/Time: Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009 7:00 pm
End Date/Time: Tuesday, Apr. 21, 2009
Location: Edson Auditorium

The French Discipline of the University of Minnesota, Morris continues the 2008-09 "Beur is Beautiful" film festival. This series of films represents cinematic works created by individuals of North African heritage living in France (the contested term “Beur” refers to the children of North African immigrants) and highlight the conflicts, dreams, joys and concerns of this population.

The first film of the spring semester is “Wesh Wesh (Qu’est-ce qui se passe?/What’s happening?) by Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche. (France 2002, 83 minutes). It will be shown Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. in the Student Center's Edson Auditorium.

About the film
Kamel has returned to his parents' home in the Paris suburbs after an absence of seven years, having spent five of them in prison in France and two in his native Algeria, where he was deported. Kamel sets out to re-establish his life in France but finds he is impeded at every turn by his illegal status and by the French police who harass the Algerian youth. His siblings have taken different paths to escaping poverty his sister has become a lawyer and lives with a Frenchman outside the housing projects while his brother has chosen a life of violence and drug-dealing. Kamel finds some solace with a French woman and with the younger children of the ghetto, who accompany him on his fishing trips in the woods. The consequences of his brother's criminal ways however come to a riveting climax that robs Kamel of any hope for a normal life.

About the director
A long-time lover of cinema, Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche decided in 2001, armed with a small DV camcorder, to direct “Wesh, Wesh, qu’est-ce qui se passe?” with a few friends, a film on a sensitive subject: the difficult re-insertion into the working world of a former delinquent. The young director took as a frame for his story the Cité des Bosquets in Seine-Saint Denis, a place that he has known well since childhood. This first shot took the Léo Sheer prize urging its distribution at the International Festival of Film de Belfort in 2001. In 2005, he signed his second production, Bled number one, in which he plays a former prisoner expelled from his country of origin, Algeria, a country that he reveals through European eyes.

The remaining films to be screened in the Beur is Beautiful festival, are:

March 11, “Where Fig Trees Grow," and April 21, "Voisins Voisines (Neighbors)." All films will be shown at 7 p.m. in Edson Auditorium.

All screenings are free and open to the public. The films receive generous support from the Morris Campus Activities Council, the Hasselmo Language Teaching Center, the Humanities Division and the Commission on Women,

Descriptions of the films are available on-line at: Beur is Beautiful.

This program is part of “Beur is Beautiful” touring exhibition organized by ArteEast.