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The Rooftops


Algeria | 2013 | 92 minutes | Merzak Allouache

Algeria's most beloved director weaves the story of five Algiers neighborhoods organized according to the five calls of prayer, over the course of a single day.

May 24, 2014
Lincoln Square Cinemas  
4:30 PM Date has passed
May 26, 2014
xHarvard Exit  
9:30 PM Date has passed
May 29, 2014
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
4:00 PM Date has passed
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Merzak Allouache (The Repentant, SIFF 2013), widely considered Algeria's most important living director, is at the top of his game in The Rooftops, a multi-character portrait of life in the country's capital city. Taking place on a single day and structured by the five calls to prayer that reverberate across Algiers, the film takes us to five different neighborhoods to explore the nation's religious, class, and gender divides as well as the fractious coexistence of its revolutionary past and conservative present. An underhand businessman and his partner, a documentary filmmaker and her crew, a crazy old man who may or may not have fought in the War of Independence, a band practicing for an upcoming gig, an imam and his followers-a complex cross section of lives play out on rooftop terraces from the ramshackle tenements of the Casbah to the upscale high-rises on the glittering Mediterranean. In The Rooftops, Allouache demonstrates both a deep affection for and a critical engagement with the country and its people.

Director Biography

Merzak Allouache was born in Bab el Oued. He studied filmmaking in Algiers at the Institut National du Cinéma and finished his studies at the IDHEC film school in Paris. In '76, he directed his first feature film Omar Gatlato. He remained in France from '83 to '88, and then returned to Algeria where he directed in '93 Bab el Oued City. The violent events that shook Algeria forced him to leave. He settled in Paris where he lives to this day. Since then, he has directed films both in France and in Algeria.

Sponsored by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Delta Air Lines

Director: Merzak Allouache
Principal Cast: Adila Bendimerad, Nassima Belmihoub, Ahcene Benzerari, Aïssa Chouat, Mourad Khen
Country: Algeria, France
Year: 2013
Running Time: 92 minutes
Producer: Merzak Allouache, Jacques Bidou, Marianne Dumoulin
Screenplay: Merzak Allouache
Cinematographers: Frédéric Derrien
Editors: Sylvie Gadmer
Website: Official Film Website
Awards: Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2013 (Best Director, FIPRESCI Prize)
Filmography: The Repentant (2012), Normal! (2011), Harragas (2009), Bab el web (2007), Chouchou (2005), The Other World (2001), Salut Cousin (1996), Bab el Oued City (1993), Un Amour à Paris (1986), L’Homme qui Regardait les Fenêtres (1983), Mughamarat Batal (1976), Omar Gatlato (1976)
Language: Arabic, French
HasSubTitles: Yes
Format: DCP
International Sales: Elle Driver
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