Outside the Law (2010) Poster

Outside the Law (2010)

  • Rate: 6.4/10 total 1,560 votes 
  • Genre: Crime | Drama | History | War
  • Release Date: 22 September 2010 (France)
  • Runtime: France:138 min | USA:138 min | Argentina:138 min
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Outside the Law (2010)


Outside the Law 2010tt1229381.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Outside the Law (2010)
  • Rate: 6.4/10 total 1,560 votes 
  • Genre: Crime | Drama | History | War
  • Release Date: 22 September 2010 (France)
  • Runtime: France:138 min | USA:138 min | Argentina:138 min
  • Budget: €20,000,000(estimated)
  • Director: Rachid Bouchareb
  • Stars: Jamel Debbouze, Roschdy Zem and Sami Bouajila
  • Original Music By: Armand Amar   
  • Sound Mix: DTS | Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Boxing | Algeria | Boxing Gym | Decolonization | Police Officer Shot

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Rachid Bouchareb  screenplay

Known Trivia

    Goofs: Anachronisms: The French air force plane in 1953 in Indochina seems to be a today's Hercule C130, instead of a Noratlas that was used then.

    Plot: A drama about the Algerian struggle for independence from France after WWII. Full summary » |  »

    Story: After losing their family home in Algeria, three brothers and their mother are scattered across the globe. Messaoud joins the French army fighting in Indochina; Abdelkader becomes a leader of the Algerian independence movement in France and Saïd moves to Paris to make his fortune in the shady clubs and boxing halls of Pigalle. Gradually, their interconnecting destinies reunite them in the French capital, where freedom is a battle to be fought and won.Written by Silenzio  

    FullCast & Crew

    Produced By:

    • Jean Bréhat known as producer
    • Olivier Dubois known as co-producer
    • Adrian Politowski known as co-producer
    • Gilles Waterkeyn known as co-producer

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Jamel Debbouze known as Saïd
    • Roschdy Zem known as Messaoud
    • Sami Bouajila known as Abdelkader
    • Chafia Boudraa known as La mère
    • Bernard Blancan known as Faivre
    • Sabrina Seyvecou known as Hélène
    • Assaad Bouab known as Ali
    • Thibault de Montalembert known as Morvan
    • Samir Guesmi known as Otmani
    • Jean-Pierre Lorit known as Picot
    • Ahmed Benaissa known as Le père
    • Larbi Zekkal known as Le caïd
    • Louisa Nehar known as Zohra
    • Mourad Khen known as Sanjak
    • Mohamed Djouhari known as L'entraîneur (as Mohamed Djouhri)
    • Mustapha Bendou known as Brahim
    • Nacer Chenouf known as Le condamné
    • Mostefa Djadjam known as Le tailleur militant
    • Abdelkader Secteur known as Hamid
    • Yacine Bendjemline known as Envoyé GPRA
    • Kheiza Agboubi known as La prostituée
    • Aziz Boukrouni known as Le militant prison
    • Mohamed Graïaa known as L'ouvrier Renault
    • Ikram Azouz known as Omar
    • Stéphane Temkine known as Le curé
    • Nisaf Hafsia known as La femme d'Omar (as Nisaf Ben Hafsia)
    • Pietro Sampieri known as Journaliste de boxe 1
    • Jean Reynès known as L'imprimeur
    • Régis Romele known as Le policier du métro
    • Claude Sese known as L'organisateur de combats
    • Pierre Roukhon known as Le docteur du bidonville
    • Ange Basterga known as Le malfrat
    • Alain Blazquez known as Le patron du cabaret
    • Damien Bonnard known as Employé de cabaret
    • Arbi Aloui known as Messaoud enfant
    • Mohamed Khalil Djalil known as Abdelkader enfant
    • Abdelslam Rouabi known as Saïd enfant
    • Paul Cant known as Journaliste de boxe 2
    • Christian Crahay known as Le juge
    • Mohamed Dhirif known as Homme bidonville 2
    • Arbi Khemiri known as Homme bidonville 1
    • Corentin Lobet known as Gimenez
    • Rabia Mokeddem known as La mère de la prostituée
    • Anne Seiller known as La maquerelle
    • Harold Van Himst known as Gimenez enfant
    • Charles de Gaulle known as Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
    • Eric Larcin known as Contremaître Renault (uncredited)



    Supporting Department

    Makeup Department:
    • Rachel Beeckmans known as assistant makeup artist
    • Aurélie Elich known as makeup artist
    • Alexandra Kourline known as assistant makeup artist
    • Lisa Schonker known as makeup artist
    • Michelle Van Brussel known as makeup artist
    • Kaatje Van Damme known as key makeup artist
    • Saskia Verreycken known as prosthetics designer

    Art Department:

    • Loïc Chavanon known as property master
    • Sonia Gloaguen known as assistant art director
    • Alexis Imbert known as set dresser
    • Hélène Imbert known as head painter
    • Thomas Lechevallier known as second assistant art director (2009)
    • Anne Pinguet known as painter




    Production Companies:

    • Tessalit Productions
    • Agence Algérienne pour le Rayonnement Culturel (AARC) (co-production)
    • EPTV (co-production)
    • Tassili Films (co-production)
    • Studio Canal (co-production)
    • France 2 Cinéma (co-production)
    • France 3 Cinéma (co-production)
    • Kiss Films (co-production) (as Kissfilms)
    • Novak Production (co-production) (as Novak Prod)
    • Radio Télévision Belge Francophone (RTBF) (co-production)
    • uFilm
    • Quinta Communications (co-production)
    • Eagle Pictures (co-production)
    • Ministère Algérien de la Culture (participation)
    • Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC) (participation)
    • Agence Nationale pour la Cohésion Sociale et l'Egalité des Chances (ACSE) (support)
    • Fonds Images de la Diversité (support)
    • Région Provence Côte d'Azur (support)
    • Quinta Studio Tunisie (support)
    • Cofinova 6 (in association with)
    • Cinémage 4 (in association with)
    • Canal Plus Image (in association with)
    • Uni Étoile 7 (in association with)
    • Canal+ (participation)
    • CinéCinéma (participation)
    • France Télévision (participation)

    Other Companies:

    • uFund  funding
    • Le Vestiaire  costume rental
    • Location Consulting & Facilities  facility vehicles
    • TSF.be-ATHALYS  camera equipment provided by
    • TSF.be-ATHALYS  grip and lighting equipment


    • Studio Canal (2010) (France) (theatrical)
    • Alfa Films (2011) (Argentina) (theatrical)
    • Cathay-Keris Films (2011) (Singapore) (theatrical)
    • Cohen Media Group (2010) (USA) (theatrical) (subtitled)
    • Madman Entertainment (2010) (Australia) (theatrical)
    • Village Films (2011) (Greece) (theatrical)
    • Frenetic Films (2010) (Switzerland) (all media)
    • Kinowelt Home Entertainment (2011) (Germany) (DVD)
    • Madman Entertainment (2010) (Australia) (all media)
    • Zon Lusomundo Audiovisuais (2011) (Portugal) (all media)
    • uDream (2010) (Belgium) (all media)



    Other Stuff

    Special Effects:

    • Les Versaillais

    Visual Effects by:

    • Chrystèle Barbarat known as visual effects producer
    • Nicolas Beaufays known as digital compositor
    • Alain Carsoux known as visual effects supervisor
    • Florian Chauvet known as visual effects coordinator
    • Séverine De Wever known as visual effects producer
    • Rémy Froment known as movematcher
    • Adrien Garcia known as digital compositor
    • Aurélien Grand known as retouch and restoration
    • Julien Lasson known as digital compositor
    • Guillaume Le Gouez known as digital compositor
    • Loriane Lucas known as digital coordinator
    • Gianni Manno known as digital compositor
    • Marie Maulet known as digital compositor
    • Tim Mendler known as movematcher
    • Hugues Namur known as visual effects supervisor
    • Vincent Perzo known as digital compositor
    • Joel Pinto known as digital compositor
    • Jean-Francois Theault known as digital compositor
    • Christian Tomikowski known as digital compositor
    • Jérémie Touzery known as matte painter
    • Johann Valette known as movematcher
    • Caroline Voglaire known as digital compositor

    Release Date:

    • France 21 May 2010 (Cannes Film Festival)
    • Canada September 2010 (Toronto International Film Festival)
    • France 22 September 2010
    • Switzerland 22 September 2010 (French speaking region)
    • Brazil 24 September 2010 (Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival)
    • Belgium 29 September 2010
    • Brazil 22 October 2010 (São Paulo International Film Festival)
    • Qatar 26 October 2010 (Doha Tribeca Film Festival)
    • USA 3 November 2010 (limited)
    • Brazil 1 January 2011
    • Portugal 13 January 2011
    • Sweden 2 February 2011 (DVD premiere)
    • Serbia 5 March 2011 (Belgrade Film Festival)
    • Spain 9 April 2011 (Mostra de Valencia)
    • UK 6 May 2011
    • Greece 12 May 2011
    • Singapore 20 October 2011
    • Argentina 27 October 2011



    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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    Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , , .


    1. shutterbug_iconium from Türkiye
      30 Mar 2012, 12:15 am

      The standalone sequel to Rachid Bouchareb's 2006 film Days ofGlory,Hors-la-loi starts at a time on which the previous movie ended.The Algerian-African soldiers, who fought for France against the NaziGermany in the previous movie, this time, fight against the imperialFrance for Algeria's independence. The fact that some actors have actedin both movies create a sense of interconnection, indeed.

      Against the backdrop of patriotic struggles of three Algerian brothers,the movie questions both the legacy of modern Western Europe and thehard-line policies of Algerian front of national liberation. From thethree brothers, Abdelkader (Sami Bouajila) does a long stint in jailbecause of his opinions. Messaoud ( Roschdy Zem) goes on serving Franceas a soldier in the revolt against French rule known as the FirstIndochina War. He gets impressed by the determined struggle of thelocal Vietnamese. Saïd (Jamel Debbouze) feels obliged to leave hishometown Setif after the known massacre. He just takes his mom andleaves for France. Though he is not as politically motivated as theother two brothers he always takes his place beside his brothers.Abd-el-Kader, along with the help of Massoud, awakens a new soul ofliberation movement in places like Renault workshops and local pubs.Said runs a cabaret and organizes box matches in a place where hestarted off as a pimp. Using Algerians in false ID and disguise, theliberation movement executes every important French police officer orsoldier. The French decide to fight 'terrorism' with its own weapons sothey create a secret organization which takes the appearance of acriminal organization and they indulge in 'terrorism' too.

      In some ways, Bouchareb's movie reminded me of "La battaglia di Algeri" but Bouchareb should take credits for his guts. He never tries topresent the viewer a rosy picture of the revolution. The liberationmovement does not recognize love or brotherhood on the grounds thatthere should be no personal passion and gain. Just because the cause isjust, the party takes away every individual value out the lives of itsmembers. That's why Massoud never sees his son grow up properly andAbdelkader threatens to kill his brother if he lets his boxer fight forFrance. Besides,the movie does not ignore the clash between twoseparate Algerian nationalist movements, MNA and FLN. Some right-wingFrench people criticize the movie because of its so called'anachronisms' and some others call it even 'anti-French' but Boucharebdoes not really anathematize the French. In the movie we see communistFrench activists who actually help the struggle of Algerians. Bouharebmay have forgotten that cinema is, on some levels, a lightentertainment. He may not have made the perfect movie which is aboutconveying the whole truth, but at least he tried to do portray a partof his country's immediate past. Outside the Law is not an anti-Frenchmovie but it is surely an anti-colonial movie which deserves criticalacclaim.

    2. gradyharp from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 12:15 am

      Writer Director Rachid Bouchareb's first view of the Algerianinvolvement in France's participation in World War II as theextraordinary DAYS OF GLORY from 2006. Now he continues his story ofthe bravery of the Algerians in OUTSIDE THE LAW (HORS-LA-LOI) usingmany of the same actors but placed in different roles. This is afast-paced film that covers a lot of territory and time and gives aninsider's view of how the Algerian soldiers and the Algerian peoplestruggled post WW II to gain freedom from French colonization. On manylevels the films works well: on the level of character development andaudience empathy it stumbles – but doesn't fall.

      The film opens in 1925 when a family in Algeria faces the Frenchrepresentative who informs a family that the government is taking theirancestral land and home: Le père (Ahmed Benaissa), La mère (ChafiaBoudraa) and their three sons Saïd, Messaoud and Abdelkader.Understandably devastated they pack their scant belongings and leave.Jump to 1945 and the massacre of Setif, an event that forces the familyto disperse: La mère with Saïd (Jamel Debbouze) move to a shantytownfor Algerian refugees outside Paris and Saïd becomes involved withorganized crime in Pigalle to support his mother (he begins as a pimp,then as a Cabaret owner, and moves into more dangerous activities suchas fixed boxing matches, etc). Messaoud (Roschdy Zem) has become asoldier with the French army in the fruitless war in Indochina(Vietnam) and observes as the French retreat that external colonizationof a country will always fail because of the inherent patriotism of theindigent people. Abdelkader (Sami Bouajila), because of thisparticipation in the resistance during the Setif Massacre, has beenimprisoned in France where he gains insight from his fellow Algeriansthat they must revolt and fight to regain independence for Algeria.Once reunited Abdelkadan becomes the driving force behind theAlgerian's FLN movement. He is the local figurehead and brains, whilehis brother Messaoud acts as the muscle and bodyguard. Brother Saidcontinues his pursuit of money through shady night clubs and as aboxing promoter, but he is never far from his brothers' sides – even ifhe isn't quite as politically motivated. The film jumps to the 1950sand the early 1960s following the development of the Algerianresistance as it becomes a murderous group, assassinating the Frenchofficials and police, engaging in fierce gun battles, all the whileunder the malicious eye of their nemesis Colonel Faivre (BernardBlancan). As deaths in the family occur the family dwindles but alwayswith the promise to each other that Algeria will gain its independence,a fact the is revealed through historic film footage from 1962.

      The film is a tense reenactment of battles and crime scenes, but thereis a problem with the script in detailing the personalities of each ofthe characters beyond their devotion to Algerian independence. Even amarriage and the birth of a son and the death of the mother fail tosubstantially affect the three brothers beyond the expected reactions.The actors are all excellent but without the benefit of a script thatallows them to offer us unique and meaningful individuals they becometropes. As a viewer remembering the brilliance of Days of Glory thisfilm is strangely uninvolving. There is a sense that Rachid Boucharebfeared condemnation by either the Algerians or the French. Much can besaid in favor of that stance: no one is 'right' or 'wrong' in war. Butat movie's end we are left oddly outside the emotional aspect of thefilm that was the key to the success of Days of Glory. In the end thisis a very well made and powerful film that answers many questions aboutthe French Algerian conflict few of us understand.

      Grady Harp

    3. David Ferguson (fergusontx@gmail.com) from Dallas, Texas
      30 Mar 2012, 12:15 am

      Greetings again from the darkness. I am certainly not qualified tooffer an expert opinion as to the historical accuracy of the film, butI can say that it provides a seemingly realistic view of the horriblesituation and struggles endured by the Algerians during their fight forindependence from France during WWII.

      The story is a sequential sequel to director Rachid Bouchareb's film"Paths of Glory" and centers around 3 brothers who are separated duringthe horrible massacre at Setif. Messaoud (Roschdy Zem who was the bestthing about "The Girl from Monaco") goes off to fight as a soldier forFrance; Said (Jamel Debbouze) takes his mother and moves to Shantytownin France and becomes quite the street hustler; while Abdelkadan (SamiBouajila) is imprisoned and absorbs all that he sees.

      Each of the brothers endures much hardship until circumstances serve toreunite them in Shantytown and the real mission begins. Abdelkadanbecomes the driving force behind the Algerian's FLN movement. He is thelocal figurehead and brains, while his brother Messaoud acts as themuscle and bodyguard. Brother Said continues his pursuit of moneythrough shady night clubs and as a boxing promoter, but he is never farfrom his brothers' sides – even if he isn't quite as politicallymotivated.

      I found all three brothers interesting in their own right, but the filmis just so downbeat as it tells this story, that I just never feltengaged. That's not to say the mission of the Algerian people duringthese two decade period isn't amazing, because it certainly is. It'sjust this film doesn't really offer much in the form of telling thestory. This one is nominated by the Academy for Best Foreign Film, soobviously many thought better of it than I.

    4. Simonster from Berlin, Germany
      30 Mar 2012, 12:15 am

      Viewed at the Festival du Film, Cannes 2010

      There's no doubt France's colonial history is a treasure trove for filmmakers, and the country certainly has some coming to terms to do withits past, but Outside The Law, for all the fuss it raised in Cannes(including a protest by former white residents of Algeria), is, sadly,a missed opportunity.

      True, the film does try to cover all the bases, and the French treatedthe Algerians appallingly, both in Algeria and in France itself. Butwhat comes out is a very anodyne and clichéd soap opera about threebrothers who eventually end up taking criminal paths, either within theAlgerian terrorist movement or the underworld.

      Although great care has been taken with the costumes, sets, props etc.to create a very credible sense of period, Outside The Law is let downby its script which, in striving for balance and neutrality, robs thefilms of any drama or tension and purses a by-the-numbers narrative.Everything is signposted in advance and duly arrives on time.

      Outside The Law is to be applauded as a start in tackling thisincredibly complex and still painful subject, but it's not a very goodone. The protesters, who most likely had not seen the film, would findnothing to fear here. And they too also have a story that should betold. Whether other film makers pick up the gauntlet remains to beseen, but I suspect box office results for this film will show thatthis is a market best served by TV documentaries instead.

    5. Mondo_Giallo from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
      30 Mar 2012, 12:15 am

      Outside the Law details a period in French-Algerian history from theend of the Second World War to Algerian independence. It follows threeAlgerian brothers who move to France and take completely differentpaths. One of them joins the French army, another becomes a politicalradical, while the third embarks of a life of crime. All of them areeventually brought together in the unified cause of Algerianindependence and equal rights. It begins and ends with notorious bloodyevents.

      Much seems to have been made about the liberties that this film hastaken with the facts surrounding certain key historical events. I amnot in any position to say if this is a justified complaint or not, asI simply do not know. However, I think it's only fair to say that theplot-line follows a historically accurate path; whether or not theemphasis of events is skewered or not I can't say but, if so, it wouldnot be the first time in cinema history that a film exaggerates fordramatic effect. Whatever the case, it's certainly a period in historythat hasn't been depicted in films very often from what I can gather.

      While I did enjoy the film, I didn't think it was nearly as good asRachid Bouchareb's earlier film Days of Glory. That latter film dealtwith a similar theme – the difficulties French Algerians haveexperienced in their adopted land. I felt that Outside the Law didn'tshare that movie's sympathetic characters or its dynamic plottrajectory. It's overall a much more down-beat story.

    6. GUENOT PHILIPPE (philippe.guenot@dbmail.com) from France
      30 Mar 2012, 12:15 am

      Well, unlike many "historians", I didn't want to talk about this rathercontroversial picture without seeing it. At the Cannes InternationalMovie Festival, in May, there was a riot because of this feature. Manypeople claimed that film was not faithful to the real history. Maybethey are damn right. Maybe not. I am not a historian. If I was, maybe Iwould tear this film in pieces, I probably would wipe it out. But asfar as I am not a historian, I won't speak of it any further about realor not real facts that happened or not. Period.

      I like this movie so well played by powerful actors. Characters areconvincing and some sequences really poignant, heart breaking. Thisfilm is not flawless, although. But which one is?

      I expected an "oriented" movie, as Rachid Bouchareb did with hisprevuious film: INDIGENES, where he told the audience what to think. Ihate that. Here, this is different. I was afraid of a good Arabs vs badFrench people scheme. And I was actually pleased to see that it was notthe case. Every one is grey, no white people, not dark either. Everyone fights for his own convictions.

      And the audience can have his own opinion.

      I recommend it. And that's my own opinion too.

    7. paudie from Ireland
      30 Mar 2012, 12:15 am

      I was expecting a bit more from this movie. The conflict in mainlandFrance between the French government and Algerians fighting forindependence between the 1940's and the 1960's seems ready madematerial for a gripping movie.

      The film wears its heart on its sleeve. The first scene shows anAlgerian farmer being given a few days to vacate his land to allow aFrench colonist take it over. The farmers three sons are the mainprotagonists for the rest of the film. One joins the French army, oneis arrested in 1945 and imprisoned in France and the third moves toFrance with their mother in the hope of finding a better life.

      We follow the brothers progress as two of them become involved in theindependence movement and the third makes his money as a pimp and andnightclub owner.

      For some reason, even though the injustices perpetrated by the Frenchgovernment are undoubtedly heinous the movie never convinced me toempathise with the brothers situation. I thought the film dragged a lotas we follow the progress of their differing but intersecting careersthrough the 1950's and early 1960's.

      The movie's climax is a rather traditional shoot out with the policefollowed by a chase through the Paris metro.

      While the movie is technically well made and the acting in general isexcellent for me it is a chance missed to make a great movie about thistraumatic period in the relationship between France and Algeria.

    8. valleyjohn from United Kingdom
      30 Mar 2012, 12:15 am

      I have to admit before seeing this movie i knew nothing about theAlgerian struggle for independence from France. It's a subject that isquite topical considering the troubles we have seen in North Africa inrecent times.

      This film plays out like a historical gangster movie and consideringit's length i really enjoyed it. There is loads of action and it isbeautifully shot. There is some fantastic acting and really enjoywatching Jamel Debbouze who was great in Days of Glory.

      It's not a surprise that i really likes this as I'm a big fan offoreign cinema and combined with a historical theme , i was alwaysgoing to like it.

    9. thethundersd from Algiers, Algeria
      30 Mar 2012, 12:15 am

      The second movie of Rachid Bouchareb after "The days of glory", it islike a sequel but not, it focuses on the Algerian struggle to have theindependence from France after the WWII, and especially the struggle bythe Algerians living in France.

      The film making is better then the last one – The days of glory – ,with a beautiful music and cinematography, a great performance of theactors which are the same from The days of glory, and amazingly theyplayed the same characters in the two movies: Saïd, Messaoud,Abdelkader. In "The days of glory" they were just friends of thebattlefield, in "Outside the Law" they were brothers. In my opinion theuse of the same characters by Rachid Bouchareb was very intelligent, itmarks the fact that in every one of the Algerian people during thestruggle there was Saïd, Messaoud or Abdelkader, those characters are akind of a factorial of many stories in the struggle of the Algerianpeople.

      Despite the little poor story that did not reflect precisely all theaspects of the struggle by the Algerians living in France, the moviewas nominated for an Oscar in the category of Foreign Language Film(83rd academy awards).

      It is a nice movie; it shows a historical reality unknown by manypersons.


    10. Matthew Stechel (mateob25@aol.com) from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 12:15 am

      Caught this tonight its last night seemingly in theaters here…Simplyput the film doesn't quite work the way it should. After a seeminglysure footed beginning, the film falls off a cliff offering scene afterscene repeating the same thing as characters plot whom to kill and howto kill them in order to advance their agenda. The characters end up asone dimensional stick figures after a handful of scenes in thebeginning establishing their take on the Algerian fight forindependence, and after a while the film takes on a seemingly more andmore outlandish (and at times almost comedic) Ma Barker and her outlawsons like feel to it…("oh those boys of mine!") as the mother seemsto be completely fine with the increasingly violent activities her sonsquickly become consumed with. That's not to say the film doesn't havesome beautifully filmed sequences tho– the one at the end definitelypacks a punch, but its not enough to save the whole film.

      Film didn't start out without interest—as its starting, you witnessthe difficulties facing the three grown sons of this woman inAlgeria–the film is book marked by two real and spectacular bloodyevents from Algeria's fight for independence used here as the turningpoints for the three son's awakening to social injustice. After thebloody events of the beginning the film follows the three sons asthey're all in different places…one's in jail and experiences apolitical awakening as a radical Algerian who dreams of taking thefight for freedom back to the streets once he's out, one's in the armyand having some problems with the killing that he's doing becoming moreand more desensitized, and one moves with his mother to try and start anew life in France and dreams of making money and eventually opening uphis own nightclub…eventually the son in jail and the one in the armyrejoin their family…and that's where the film's story really kicksinto gear as the radical son and the army son join (and reallykick-start) the FLA (freedom & liberation of Algeria) organizationwhich from my viewing of the film and nothing else seems to consist ofscene after scene of the radical son deciding whom to kill next in thename of his cause. The recruiting of the other two brothers andsticking together as a family to the cause seems to be important atfirst to the radical brother but quickly breaks with that idea once itsestablished that the son who just wants to make some money has nointerest in taking up arms against his new country–least he jeopardizeany moneymaking attempts (he got a gig as a boxing promoter–groomingthis young up and coming boxer for fame and fortune which figures intothe plot later on when it comes about that the now terroristorganization will kill him should he fight in the name of France andnot for his true Algerian homeland as he should) Film tries to buildsome tension from the contrasting beliefs of the two brothers (thethird one–the army one after some initial hesitation seems to take tothe killing in the name of freedom just fine and thus a once promisingcharacter conflict gets pushed to the back burner.) and indeed the factthat the film isn't a complete misfire is attributed to the suspensegenerated by putting the two brothers in this conflict with oneanother. One of the most memorable scenes has the radical brothertelling the army brother that the time has come to kill their brotherin the name of their cause, to which the army brother firmly puts hisfoot down…a fact that the radical will be thankful for after eventsunravel in the last half hour of the film. Indeed the climaticsequences where the two of them end up being bound together by theircircumstances are not only well staged but so filled with the dramatictension that was completely lacking in the rest of the film that youwonder why the director didn't cut to the chase with these two brotherssooner leading to what is undeniably a beautifully staged and fullyrealized all out riot in a train station, but its almost too little toolate in terms of interest in the storyline.

      The idea of an Algerian Once Upon A Time In America (immigrant brothersstarting up their own various criminal enterprises coming into conflictwith one another) is a good one. I very much liked the way the directortried to create this whole saga around these still potent real worldhistorical events, but i wish the characters (and the film itself) hadmore to offer then simply boiling down to brotherly love vs personalpolitical beliefs. The film just doesn't sustain your interest in itsplot line for its entire running time…lets just say it could've takena lesson or two from MESSRINE—that film might of been twice as long,but it held your interest twice as much thru its runtime at the veryleast.

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