Set over the course of a single night, director Sofia Djama's warm, intimate drama explores the societal changes that have happened in the 20 years since the Algerian Civil War as experienced through two generations, a middle-aged couple celebrating their anniversary and their teenaged son hanging out in the city with his friends.
"Blessed is a multi-layered film, dense with ideas and questions that resonate far beyond Algerian society." Vladan Petkovic - Cineuropa
In Algeria's coastal capital city, Amal and Samir are celebrating their twentieth wedding anniversary. But while their connection to each other is clearly still strong, their country has not fared so well. It is a few years after the end of the decade-long civil war and the aftereffects of the conflict are everywhere, in the form of corrupt security forces, moralizing imams, loved ones killed or gone into exile. Likewise, the question of whether to remain in the troubled country—a question that has clearly been with them a long time—is always present, whether at a party with friends or when they head out together for drinks and dinner. Amal is worried about their son, Fahim, as she watches the repercussions of the war play out for the next generation. She believes passionately that their only option is to move abroad; Samir is just as passionate in his refusal to give up on their country. As they wander the city in search of a restaurant that will serve them alcohol, they mourn their lost illusions and wonder what the future holds. Dedicated to her parents' generation, the powerful debut film of director Sofia Djama offers a warm, intimate, and compassionate look at a society struggling with its past.
Algerian director Sofia Djama, does not label herself as a feminist, only because in her home country the term is not applicable, as there are so many matters of social justice that women are not lawfully allowed to discuss. This issue is highlighted in her debut feature, The Blessed, as she has been rewarded for changing the image of women in film.
Sponsored by Pacific Place, Waterton Apartments
- Original Language Title: Les Bienheureux
- Director: Sofia Djama
- Principal Cast: Sami Bouajila, Nadia Kaci, Faouzi Bensaidi, Amine Lansari, Lyna Khoudri, Adam Bessa
- Premiere Status: Seattle
- Country: Algeria, France, Belgium, Qatar
- Year: 2017
- Running Time: 102 minutes
- Producer: Patrick Quinet, Serge Zeitoun
- Screenplay: Sofia Djama
- Cinematographers: Pierre Aim
- Editors: Sophie Brunet
- Website: Official Film Website
- Awards: Venice Film Festival 2017 (Best Actress); Dubai International Film Festival 2017 (Best Director)
- Filmography: Debut Feature Film
- Language: French, Arabic
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- Format: DCP
- International Sales: BAC Films