Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

TIFF Capsule Review: 'Fidai'

By Boyd van Hoeij | Indiewire September 10, 2012 at 11:57AM

The ways of international film financing can be obscure, as demonstrated by the French-Algerian-Chinese documentary “Fidaï” from director Damien Ounouri, who managed to get Chinese auteur-par-excellence Jia Zhang-Ke (“Still Life”) on board as an executive producer (there’s a little of Jia’s approach to documentary here). The formally assembled and beautiful non-fiction feature, shot on crisp digital video, chronicles the story of Med El Hadi Benadouda, the filmmaker’s great-uncle, who was a Fidaï, or mujahideen soldier without a uniform, during the Algerian Revolution that sought to liberate the country from French oppression. Ounouri takes Benadouda back to some of the places where soldiers were tortured and where his great-uncle carried out some of his missions (read: killings), which together they try to restage. As much about the specifics of the revolutionary FLN movement as it is about the effects of memory on both Benadouda and his extensive family, this film strikes an impressive balance between larger historical meaning and more personal issues. Anyone interested in a documentary companion piece of sorts to “The Battle of Algiers” could do worse than start here. Criticwire grade: B- [Boyd van Hoeij]
0

The ways of international film financing can be obscure, as demonstrated by the French-Algerian-Chinese documentary “Fidaï” from director Damien Ounouri, who managed to get Chinese auteur-par-excellence Jia Zhang-Ke (“Still Life”) on board as an executive producer (there’s a little of Jia’s approach to documentary here). The formally assembled and beautiful non-fiction feature, shot on crisp digital video, chronicles the story of Med El Hadi Benadouda, the filmmaker’s great-uncle, who was a Fidaï, or mujahideen soldier without a uniform, during the Algerian Revolution that sought to liberate the country from French oppression. Ounouri takes Benadouda back to some of the places where soldiers were tortured and where his great-uncle carried out some of his missions (read: killings), which together they try to restage. As much about the specifics of the revolutionary FLN movement as it is about the effects of memory on both Benadouda and his extensive family, this film strikes an impressive balance between larger historical meaning and more personal issues. Anyone interested in a documentary companion piece of sorts to “The Battle of Algiers” could do worse than start here. Criticwire grade: B- [Boyd van Hoeij]

This article is related to: Toronto International Film Festival, Reviews, Fidaï, Damien Ounouri





Win The Complete Twin Peaks on Blu-ray from Indiewire! in Indiewire's Hangs on LockerDome


SnagFilms

Watch Over 10,000 Free Movies!

We the Economy: Supply and Dance, Man!

Why is the law of supply and demand so powerful? In this whimsical tale, our friendly narrator guides bored students Jonathan and Kristin through a microeconomic musical extravaganza.

More