In 1965, three years after Algeria gained its independence, Gillo Pontecorvo began to shoot a film reconstituting the events of the Battle of Algiers (1957). The black and white newsreel-style film took the 1966 Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival. Effectively banned in France until 1971 in cinemas. Whereas Alger is the capital refuge of all anti-colonial fighters, the young Algerians identify with the legendary hero of the film, Ali la Pointe. In the 70s, for the spectators of the whole world, the film becomes the mirror of an epic.
Malek Bensmaïl was born in Constantine (Algeria) in 1966. Acclaimed by critics, his films have won many prizes in festivals all around the world. “China is still far” (2010) won the Dokfilmfestival Prize in Munich and the Prize of the Jury at the 3 Continents Festival. Before this, with “Aliénations” (2004), he won the great prize of the libraries at the Festival du Réel in Paris. His last feature film released in cinemas in France in 2016 “Checks and Balances” was selected in Locarno, Toronto, Vienna, Amsterdam. Recent award winner at Villa Kuyojama in Japan (Villa Medicis in Asia).