143 rue du désert

V'19

143 rue du désert

143 Sahara Street

Hassen Ferhani
Algerien/F/Katar, 2019
Features, 100min, OmeU

© Viennale © Viennale © Viennale

143 rue du désert

Hassen Ferhani
Algerien/F/Katar, 2019
Features, 100min, OmeU

Sat
26
Oct
13:30
Urania
Cast: 
Malika
Chawki Amari
Samir Elhakim
and the drivers of National 1 Road
Screenplay: 
Hassen Ferhani
Sound: 
Mohamed Ilyas Guetal
Antoine Morin
Camera: 
Hassen Ferhani
Editor: 
Stéphanie Sicard
Nadia Ben Rachid
Nina Khada
Hassen Ferhani

Production: 
Allers Retours Films
Centrale Electrique
Doha Filminstitute
World Sales: 
Narimane Mari
Format: 
DCP
Color

143 RUE DU DESERT is a portrait of Malika, an elderly woman who runs a rest-stop café on the side of National 1, Algeria's main highway. Through the various patrons who stop for eggs, coffee or tea, we become intimately acquainted with this eccentric woman, whose opinions on a variety of subject matters entertain, enlighten, and baffle in equal measure. Most of the customers know her so well that we suspect they perhaps stop not for the tea, but for her company. The film almost never leaves the inside of her small café, which serves also as her home. However, with every new shot, Ferhani manages to reveal a new fragment of this minuscule space, which keeps the film surprisingly dynamic. Ferhani does not hold sway over Malika's representation, which is one of the most satisfying elements of the film. Malika seems aware of her character's cinematic construction, and even dares to contradict statements about her life from one moment to the next, in a scene that is as performative as any fiction. Even though the film provides us with real-time access to this woman's world, she retains a sense of privacy, which is the main source of the film’s mystery. (Nico Pereda)

Hassen Ferhani: LES BAIES D’ALGER (2006, K), LE VOL DU 140 (2008, K), AFRIC HOTEL (2010, Ko-Regie), TARZAN, DON QUICHOTTE ET NOUS (2013), ROUNDABOUT IN MY HEAD (2016)