Chronique des années de braise (The Chronicle of the Years of Embers)
D: Mohamed Lakhdar-Hamina
Algeria 1975, 140 Min, English subtitles
Like the phoenix from the ashes, the Algerian people rises through the chapters of this film – up to its rebirth in November 1954, the start of the insurrection. The lyrical epic develops its narrative by means that are all the more impressive for their minimalism. With a persuasive inevitability, a farmer is led from rural poverty into the battles of World War II, and finally, through seething indignation, to take revenge against the colonial regime.
Deservingly, the film won the Palme d’Or in Cannes in 1975, despite intense official resistance in France. It was the first, and remains the only, North African film to capture the award.