Outside The Law (Hors La Loi)
Forceful thriller about 1950s Algerian freedom fighters
Franco-Algerian writer-director Rachid Bouchareb follows his hard-hitting Palme d’Or nominated WWII adventure Days of Glory with this similarly forceful thriller about Algerian freedom fighters in the 1950s. Like its predecessor, this unofficial sequel is at once controversial in subject matter but cleverly commercial in execution. Just as Days of Glory refashioned the secret history of Algerians who fought the Germans on behalf of the French as a men-on-a-mission epic such as Kelly’s Heroes, Outside the Law tells the story of Algerians who take the fight to their colonial oppressors in France in a manner that brings to mind Once Upon A Time in America as much as it does The Battle of Algiers.
Days of Glory stars Roschdy Zem, Sami Bouajila and Jamel Debouzze are reunited to play three brothers who leave their homeland after the notorious Setif massacre in 1945. One of them joins the French army to fight in Indochina, while the other two go to France and disappear into the underground, one as a freedom fighter, the other to run jazz clubs and brothels. However, national pride, a sense of injustice, and family loyalty unite the boys in their common cause.
Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Fri 6 May; GFT, Glasgow, Mon 23–Thu 26 May and selected release.