Tahia ya Didou

V'18

Tahia ya Didou

Mohamed Zinet
Algerien, 1971
News from the Archive, 81min, OmeU

© Viennale © Viennale

Tahia ya Didou

Mohamed Zinet
Algerien, 1971
News from the Archive, 81min, OmeU

Cast: 
Georges Arnaud
Swiss tourist
Himmoud Brahimi
Momo, the poet
André Moreau
French man
Suzie Nacer
French woman
Muhammad Zinat
Hassan, the blind man
Screenplay: 
Himoud Brahimi
Muhammad Zinat
Sound: 
Larbi Chenit
Camera: 
Ali Marok
Bruno Muel
Pierre Clément
Editor: 
Noun Serra
Monique Cementi
Composer: 
Michel Portal
M’Hamed el-Anka

Production: 
Mairie d’Algiers
Format: 
DCP
Color

Whatever Algiers’ City Hall had in mind when they asked actor Muhammad Zinat to direct a portrait of the city – it certainly wasn’t TAHIYA YA DIDOU; what they’d wanted was an eyes-and-ears pleasing tourism ad to show off the beautiful sites and vistas of DPR Algeria’s capital – what they got was a multi-facetted cum-layered pars pro toto-portray of a contradiction-riddled country that only recently and through great suffering and many sacrifices could (re-) gain its independence.
TAHIYA YA DIDOU is itself a film of several aesthetic minds: Part documentary, part fiction feature, it’s maybe best described as a narrative-keyed essay casually in line with the art of French-born anti-colonialist master René Vautier (with whom Zinat had worked on several shorts), but also influenced by Argentinian auteurs Fernando Solanas’s and Octavio Getino’s then-current Third Cinema ideals. Yet, probably more disturbing for City Hall than the irascible form was the plot concerning a demobbed French soldier who by chance meets one of his torture victims on the street; at a time when in France the ultra-right started to wage war on Algerian immigrants, a story like this was explosive … And thus, TAHIYA YA DIDOU vanished for decades. (Olaf Möller)

Muhammad Zinat: LES MAINS LIBRES (1964, assistant director), LA BATTAGLIADI ALGERI (1966, assistant director)