The purpose of the African Women in Cinema Blog is to provide a space to discuss diverse topics relating to African women in cinema--filmmakers, actors, producers, and all film professionals. The blog is a public forum of the Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema.

Le Blog sur les femmes africaines dans le cinéma est un espace pour l'échange d'informations concernant les réalisatrices, comédiennes, productrices, critiques et toutes professionnelles dans ce domaine. Ceci sert de forum public du Centre pour l'étude et la recherche des femmes africaines dans le cinémas.

26 April 2011

Fatma-Zohra Zamoum: Z'har/(Un)Lucky

Vues d'Afrique 2011 Watch: Long and Medium Documentary Category
Fatma-Zohra Zamoum, Z’har/(Un)Lucky (78 mn)

Fatma-Zohra Zamoum studied at the l’Ecole supérieure des Beaux-Arts of Algiers, after which she obtained a diploma in filmmaking in 1995 at the Sorbonne. Since then she divides her time between her two passions: painting and cinema. Sometimes painting is eclipsed by the greater role that filmmaking often takes, for which she finances herself and writes her own scripts. She is also the author of several works about painting.

"A distanciation between fiction and reality" by Amine Idjer, published in February 2011 in Liberté Translated from French to English by Beti Ellerson

Released in 2009, the film lays out a double history. The first is a fiction recounting the journey of three characters with a different fate in a taxi en route from Tunis to Constantine. The second is a documentary, a kind of "making of" tracing the film crew's location search in Tebessa, Setif and Constantine. This overlapping of stories is not by chance, but rather as Fatma-Zohra Zamoun makes clear, "by obligation". Because of her inability to raise the needed funds, she chose this option which she took on as a challenge. What was to be a classic road movie with a departure and an arrival became "a distanciation, a mixture between fiction and documentary," she declared.

And it was this impossibility to shoot on location which gave this new form to the film. "This form was the obvious solution which followed the question, how can this film be completed?", she explained. At first, of course, this method throws off the spectator, but after a few minutes the director brings us into her universe. The documentary component allows the viewer to travel, following the film crew from location to location, whereas the fiction, "reminiscent of the violence of an Algeria which does not look very much like us", concentrates on history and individuals.

It is a complimentarity of sorts, a double dialogue without one affecting the other. Addressing societal problems, the film is one of contrasts: the artificialization of fiction, at the same time the "making of" becomes the film.

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