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la Biennale di Venezia
Main Visual Sezione Cinema EN (new)


70th Venice International Film Festival

Director: Alberto Barbera

28th August > 7th September 2013

Venezia 70

All sections »
Bab el-Oued, a working-class neighborhood of Algiers. On one side the bay, on the other the city. While time is marked by the muezzin’s call to prayer, five stories intersect, even if only for a moment, on the same number of terraces over the course of a whole day. A man is tortured because he doesn’t want to sign a mysterious document, under the cynical gaze of someone who is in reality very close to him. Only the little girl of an intransigent family tries to have a “normal” relationship with her uncle, shut up in a cage on the roof for reasons kept secret. The owner of the building disappears after having attempted once again to expel an old woman who is living illegally on the terrace—a decidedly peculiar former police officer investigates. A group of young men uses the roof for rehearsals prior to a musical performance, until the tragedy of a young woman is acted out on the adjacent terrace. At the least opportune moment, a small television crew finds itself in the wrong place.

VIDEO (press conference and photocall) >>
VIDEO (red carpet) >>
6 September 19:30 - Sala Grande 6 September 20:00 - PalaBiennale VENEZIA 70 Es-Stouh by Merzak Allouache - Algeria, France, 94'
language: Arabic - s/t English, Italian
Adila Bendimerad, Nassima Belmihoub, Ahcene Benzerari, Aïssa Chouat, Mourad Khen, Myriam Ait El Hadj
Director’s Statement
As the Arab world is rocked by a series of crises without precedent, Algeria seems to be, paradoxically, serene, turned onto itself, almost indifferent. It cherishes its new peace after a decade of bloody terrorism.
However the reality is quite different.
After Normal! and El taaib, Es-Stouh (Les terrasses) is a fiction in which I continue my exploration of this complex and troubled Algerian society through a series of characters.
The chaos we see in the streets of Algiers has reached its rooftops, previously places of tranquillity where neighbours met and gazed at the bay, the hills, the sea and which have become a living space, of violence, of death.