El Gusto

Safinez Bousbia, Algeria / Ireland / United Arab Emirates / France, 2014, color / black and white, HDcam, 88'
Synopsis

A chance encounter puts the Algerian-Irish Safinez Bousbia on the trail of an Algerian popular music form called chaâbi ("of the people"), which flourished in the mid-20th century, but then faded into the background. Emerging out of the Arabian-Andalusian music that was being played in the casbahs of Algiers, it was taken to the level of full-fledged musical genre by the legendary El Hadj Mohamed El Anka, who used it to give expression to the feelings of common folk. In the 1950s, he led a chaâbi orchestra at the Algiers Conservatory, in which Arab and Jewish students played together. This film attempts to bring together the members of this orchestra, men who are now in their seventies. Their personal stories paint a picture of the country's turbulent history, with the war of independence proving to be a turning point. Some joined the struggle, while others had to flee after independence to France, where there was no warm welcome in store for these pieds noirs. Bousbia managed to track down many of the former musicians and bring them together for a reunion concert in Marseille, which forms the stirring climax to this sentimental journey into Algeria's cultural history.

IDFA Awards given out in Durban, Montevideo and Sarajevo August 27, 2015 | Three IDFA Awards were handed out over the summer to promising projects pitched at three international film markets. As part of the awards, all winners will attend IDFA in November.
IDFAcademy Summer School report July 8, 2015 | Emerging filmmakers from all over the world came together for an uncharacteristically hot week in Amsterdam to work on their documentary projects with renowned tutors such as Victor Kossakovsky and Cecilia Lidin.
IBF announces May selection July 7, 2015 | The IDFA Bertha Fund has concluded the second selection round for 2015. Eleven documentary projects from countries like Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, South Sudan, Uruguay and Georgia will be supported by the fund in its classic scheme.
New Media at IDFA 2015 July 7, 2015 | For those interested in the creative potential of digital technology, virtual reality and interactive media, this year's IDFA will have more to offer than ever before.
Errol Morris central guest at IDFA 2015 June 30, 2015 | Renowned filmmaker Errol Morris will compile this year's Top 10 program at IDFA. The festival will also be screening a retrospective of Morris's work.

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