Algeria Cinema 2

Algeria Archaeology and Cinema

Archaeology. – The archaeological research in Algeria has been marked in recent years by a series of reinterpretations and clarifications that have involved individual monumental complexes already known from the early Roman and Christian periods. These types of interventions have been able to count for the Numidian culture on a coordinated research plan, which in some cases has produced substantial innovations. The opportunity was given by the exhibition on the Numidian civilization presented by the. at the Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Bonn in 1979 and from its catalog. Particular attention was paid to the Es Soumas mausoleum at El Kroub: a more careful study of the funerary material leads to attribute it to Micipsa rather than to Massinissa. Renewed attention on the available data was placed in the numidian perspective in Siga, the capital of Siface,

Among the other researches emerging in Algerian territory, we note the space-time analysis conducted on the tombs of Setif, with a phase of cremation (2nd century AD), which is the most limited compared to the long-lasting and widespread use of the rite in the ‘North Africa. This is followed by the demographic study on Timgad, with an estimate of about 15,000 residents in the middle of the 2nd century. AD, the research on the residential houses of Cherchel, the ancient Caesarea, which fills a gap in the knowledge of the domestic structures of North Africa in the Roman imperial age, and the investigation of Christian archeology in the region of the current Algerian-Tunisian border, between Sūq Ahras and Oued Louz. In the latter region, numerous buildings have been identified built on the same typical plan and, probably, by the same architect. The Tebessa complex had a similar evaluation, apparently built at the end of the 4th or the beginning of the 5th century. AD from factories that seem to have operated, at the same time, in the region of Tebessa, up to Thelepte, in the South-East, and perhaps up to Djemila.

Cinema. – Algerian cinema was born in the late 1950s as an instrument of the war of independence. The first filmmakers engaged in a war documentary film, with a strong militant imprint, are formed by the National Liberation Front. For many of them the activity and presence in Algeria of the French director R. Vautier constitutes an important guide and point of reference.

After independence, the provisional government creates the first cinematic structures. In 1963 the Office des Actualités Algeriennes (OAA) was established which, together with Casbah Films, a private company, and RTA (the Algerian Radio and Television, born in 1962), holds the monopoly of national production. In 1964 the Center National du Cinéma (CNC) was created with the function of managing and regulating production and distribution, as well as founding a film training school, the Institut National du Cinéma. The first feature films were released in the mid-1960s: Le vent des Aurès (1965-66) by M. Lakhdar-Hamina, produced by OAA, and L’aube des damnés (1965) by Algeria Rachedi, produced by the CNC, examples of a national cinema characterized by a strong epic vein. In 1967 the Office National du Commerce et de l’Industrie Cinématographique (ONCIC) was established, which absorbs the CNC and later, in 1974, the OAA, obtaining, since 1969, the monopoly of the entire cinematographic process by now completely nationalized. ONCIC will maintain this monopoly until 1984, when it will be split into two distinct bodies, one for production and the other for distribution and operation (ENADEC). For Algeria 2016, please check

Poised for the whole of the Sixties between austere civil commitment and popular spectacle, Algerian cinema experienced a new, important season starting from the early Seventies. There is a real wave of films made by young directors (cinéma djidid) who want a cinema of testimony, without concessions to the show, based on minimal budgets, shot in natural locations with non-professional actors and aimed at the urgent problems of today: land reform, the relationship between old and new, the development of a modern society. Following this ‘neorealist’ line, in 1972, Les spoliateurs by L. Merbah, Le charbonnier by Mohamed Bouamari, Près du saf saf by Moussa Haddad, Noua by Abdelaziz Tolbi, Sueur noire by Sid Ali Mazif and L’ embouchure by Mohamed Chouikh. At the same time the epic trend continues with a blockbuster, Chronique des années de braise (1974), in which the director Lakhdar-Hamina once again confronts the country’s heroic past, reconstructing the period preceding the war of liberation.

More and more linked to contemporary themes, such as the problem of young people and the condition of women, the major films of the following years appear: Omar Gatlato (1977) by Merzak Allouache, Nouba des femmes du mont Chenoua (1978), by the first director Algerian woman, Assia Djebar, Nah’la (1979) by Farouk Beloufa and Jelti (1980) by Mohamed Ifticène.

Despite the chronic difficulties for the circulation of films in the same national circuit, the lack of a rigorous design of industrial policy, the crisis and restructuring that characterized the years 1979-81, Algerian cinema confirms, even in the last decade, its typical role of critical interpreter of society in transformation, a role played in close relationship with television, which is responsible for a large share of national film production.

Among the new emerging personalities we can mention Rabah Laradji (Un toit, une famille, 1982), Jean-Pierre Lledo (Ahlam, 1982), Brahim Tsaki (Histoire d’une rencontre, 1983), Ali Ghanem (Une femme pour mon fils, 1983), Mezyan Yala (Chants d’automne, 1984), Mehdi Charef (Le Thé au harem d’Archimède, 1985).

Algeria Cinema 2