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Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche (Dernier maquis, France/Algeria 2008)
Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, whose remarkable Bled Number One (2006) insightfully examined the tensions between overlapping French and Algerian identities, here turns to France’s industrial sprawl for a visually bold and atmospheric meditation on the clash of capitalism and religious tradition. The story is set in an outer ring of Paris, inside a bleak factory yard, which is strikingly contrasted by the industry’s bright-red transport pallets. The factory owner, Mao (Ameur-Zaïmeche), builds a mosque for his multicultural northern and sub-Saharan African workforce, folding piety and the work ethic together with what one might call a Protestant assurance, but inadvertently sparks dissension by appointing his own choice for imam. Spiritually oriented disputes, however, eventually give way to an incipiently political and economic restiveness when Mao threatens to close down the factory. Unfolding at times in a purposefully desultory way, Ameur-Zaïmeche’s film balances the bareness of working lives with unexpected strands of violence, beauty and reflection.

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Written by Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, Louise Thermes. Photographed by Irina Lubtchansky. With Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, Abel Jafri, Sylvain Roume. (93 min, UMedia)
Sunday, November 1, 4:15 pm; Tuesday, November 3, 9:15 pm
Landmark’s Clay Theatre
DEVELOPER'S NOTE: http://old.sffs.org/content.aspx?pageid=1338