Bloody Beans

If the community decides what is normal, does it also decide what is real? The Algerian film ‘Bloody Beans’ is in any case a film where the real and the possible become one – maybe because it has a large group of children in its collective lead role in a blend of role play and a trippy re-enactment of Algeria’s historical struggle for independence. On a hot summer’s day, a bunch of boys are off to the beach. They are joined by two young girls, and from here on one scene leads to another, deep into the night, where they end up abducting a soldier. Irrational and terrifying forces are set free in a surreal revolt, directed against the adult (colonial) powers. Jean Vigo and Jean Rouch are Narimane Mari’s cinematic predecessors: rebellion, the trance film, imaginative ethnography. But Mari is especially interested in how myths are brought to life and, not least, deconstructed in a revolutionary gesture. The result is a strange and violent film with a furious determination to overthrow and start afresh. But also a film with a sense of the terrifying magic of a flashlight scanning a room at night. [CPH: DOX]