Part of SFFILM Festival
San Francisco, CA 94103 United States
Phantasmagoric and intense, Abou Leila is set during Algeria’s bloody conflict of the 1990s. Childhood friends Lotfi and S, one of whom is in pursuit of a (possibly imaginary) terrorist named Abou Leila, take a trip into the Sahara. As their journey progresses, what is real and what isn’t becomes increasingly slippery as terrifying visions share cinematic space with quotidian events. After a multiple murder, the increasingly delirious S sets off by himself and heads even deeper into the desert with Lotfi in pursuit.
“This intentionally disorienting work … is literally and figuratively a trip that isn’t only captivating but tries to take its viewers captive. Not interested in naturalistic conventions or historical recreations, Sidi-Boumèdiéne instead uses the world of dreams and the tools of cinema to try and approximate the complex headspace of those finding themselves stuck in a bloody and entirely absurd conflict, seemingly without a way out.” –Boyd van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter
A graduate of Conservatoire Libre du Ciné Français, Amin Sidi-Boumédine is an editor, writer, and director. His films include the shorts Demain, Alger? (2011) and Al Djazira (2012). Abou Leila, winner of the New Waves Award at the Seville European Film Festival and the Silver Méliés Award at the Neuchâtel Fantastic Film Festival, is his first feature.
Language Arabic, Tamasheq, French
Director Amin Sidi-Boumédiène
Producer Fayçal Hammoum, Yacine Bouaziz, Louise Bellicaud, Claire Charles-Gervais
Writer Amin Sidi-Boumédiène
Editor Amin Sidi-Boumédiène
Cinematographer Kanamé Onoyama
Cast Slimane Benouari, Lyes Salem, Azouz Abdelkader