gritty post-World War II thriller Outside The Law follows Algerias
for independence from France
alongside a poignant and raw story of
a family pulled apart by tragedy with
dire consequences for the future...
UNJUSTLY EVICTED IN 1925 FROM THE LAND THEIR ANCESTORS had farmed for generations,
an Algerian family moves to Sétif. The children grow up and the youngest of
three brothers, Saïd (Jamel Debbouze: Amelie; Angela) becomes a fight-promoter.
Tragedy strikes when, desperate to free their country from French rule, disgruntled
Algerians organise a peaceful protest march through the city. French soldiers
indiscriminately fire into the crowd before forcing innocent people from their
homes into the streets before summarily executing them, and Saïd is devastated
to find his sisters, his wife and sons and his father (Ahmed Benaissa) have
all been killed.
By 1953, one of Saïd's brothers, Messaoud (Roschdy Zem), is fighting with the
French in Indochina while his eldest brother, Abdelkader (Sami Bouajila), is
being held at the Prison de la Santé in France. The following year, Saïd kills
the man he believes responsible for his family's plight and steals enough money
to take his mother (Chafia Boudraa) to Nanterre in France, where they live in
a sparse shantytown during a bitter winter.
Determined not to live in poverty, Saïd refuses to join the other Algerians
working at the Renault factory and instead becomes involved with the seedy cabarets
and fighting clubs in Pigalle.
With the return of Messaoud from Indochina and the release of Abdelkader, the
three brothers are happily reunited; but Colonel Faivre (Bernard Blancan) of
National Security comes to shantytown seeking members of the Algerian Independence
movement, the FLN and, finding nothing, selects ten men to be shot.
Abdelkader has spent his year in prison witnessing other such injustices and
becomes a leader of the FLN, encouraging others to join. Messaoud, who has recently
married, does so reluctantly but Saïd will not give up his businesses to become
involved. It is not long before the violence escalates out of control, and there
is no way back from the battle for freedom that must be fought and won.
Rachid Bouchareb has reunited the cast from his award-winning Days Of Glory
with Outside The Law that also features: Mourad Khan as Sanjak; Sabrina
Seyvecou as Hélène; Assaad Bouab as Ali Benjbour; Thibault de Montalembert as
Morvan; Samir Guesmi as Otmani; and Jean-Pierre Lorit as Picot.
Original Music is by Armand Amor; Cinematography by Christophe Beaucarne; Producer
is Jean Bréhat; Co-Producers are: Olivier Dubois, Adrian Politowski and Gilles
Waterkeyn; Directed by Rachid Bouchareb (Days of Glory).
Outside the Law was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2011
Oscars and in competition for the Palme D'Or at the 2010 Cannes film Festival.
A tense, well-acted, well-paced period thriller that never lets up.
The Law, a thrilling post-World War II story of three brothers who become
separated after losing their family home in Algeria, is out to own on DVD, Blu-ray
and EST on 29 August 2011. Certificate: 15 | Total running time: 133 Minutes
| French Language with English Subtitles | Catalogue Number: OPTD2020 | RRP:
£17.99. Blu-ray: Total running time: 138 Minutes | Catalogue Number: OPTD2020
| RRP: £22.99
Extras: Making of | Interview Rachid Bouchareb | Trailer.
"Outside The Law… A tense, well-acted, well-paced period thriller that
never lets up" Maggie Woods, MotorBar
"A fierce historical tale with Jean-Pierre Melville's Army Of Shadows
written all over it. It is a big, bold film defined by a reserved passion, a
stately style and strong performances from its three leads ****"
"Thriller with a fast pace, Rachid Bouchareb's fascinating film… ****"