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The Blessed (15*)

Shubbak Festival

Photo of man in mirror

Sofia Djama’s accomplished debut feature spans 24 hours in the heady Algerian capital – where an inter-connected cast of characters reveal very different imaginations for the country’s future.

Amal and Samir are former 1988 revolutionaries – who had participated in the October 88 riots that eventually led to the rise of religious conservatism – their anniversary is bittersweet. Amal talk about lost illusions and Samir about the necessity to cope with them – they both want the best for their children. Meanwhile, their son Fahim and his friends wander the heady streets of Algiers, where drugs and alcohol are a release from boredom, an escape from a post-war state of mind that is never clearly articulated, yet omnipresent. The Blessed picked up no less than four awards including Best Actress for Lyna Khoudri and the Orizzonti Award at its premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

Algeria/Belgium/France 2017 Dir Sophia Djama 102 min

* = locally classified by the City of London Corporation

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