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Bouchareb addresses controversy surrounding Hors la loi


Rachid Bouchareb discussed his controversial In Competitionfilm Hors la loi after its screening Friday morning. The film follows the storyof three brothers in the midst of the Algerian war, prompting much speculation regarding Bouchareb's true message in making this film. The press conference marks thefirst time the cast and director have agreed to speak about their highly anticipated and heavily protested film.Bouchareb refused to speak about Hors la loi before the festival, going so faras to write a letter to the Cannes Film Festival requesting that people see thefilm before they talk about it. Boucharebinsisted the goal was to take a journey into the past and to reveal the saga of the fictional family the story depicts. “The film is not a battlefield,” Boucharebsaid. “It’s not there to create confrontation. It’s there to create a serene, calmdebate.” 

Bouchareb expressed his sadness over accusations claiming hehad created an anti-French film, which he adamantly contended was notwhat Hors la loi is at all. He hoped to facilitate a calm debate about France’scolonial past, and then turn the page to a more reconciled future without this tension. When a reporter complimented Bouchareb onhis courage, Bouchareb immediately corrected him: “This is not a question of mycourage. I created a film, I wrote a story,” he clarified. “The story takesplace over a period of 40 years, so there are some painful historical eventscovered, but this is cinema. That was my primary goal, it is not an act ofcourage.”

Bouchareb was clear that this is just a film, a fictional story. He indeed hoped to create a debate, but not a battle. Bouchareb assured the public that the audiences, French and Algerian alike, will see that there is no animosity toward the French whatsoever, and that Hors la loi is indeed a Franco-Algerian co-production of equal parts.

Lauren Ellison 

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