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Outside the Law

Outside the Law

Hors la loi

Rachid Bouchareb

  • Country: France, Algeria, Tunisia, Italy, Belgium
  • Year: 2010
  • Language: French, Arabic
  • Producer: Jean Bréhat
  • Executive Producer: Muriel Merlin
  • Screenplay: Rachid Bouchareb, Olivier Lorelle
  • Runtime: 137
  • Programmes:

Bouchareb's follow-up to Days of Glory is an epic French gangster movie in the tradition of Once Upon a Time in America. The film follows three brothers from childhood in Algeria through turbulent years in Paris, as their paths diverge towards radical politics and violent crime.

screening times

    • Sunday September 12
    • 10:00:00 PM
    • Monday September 13
    • 12:00:00 PM
    • VARSITY 8
    • Saturday September 18
    • 3:45:00 PM
    • AMC 6

Note: indicates Premium Screening.

official description

The story between Algeria and France is vast, complex and sometimes bloody. Algerian-French filmmaker Rachid Bouchareb has taken it upon himself to tell that story on the epic scale it deserves. In his Academy Award®-nominated Indigènes, which screened at the Festival in 2006, he followed three Algerian brothers who sign up to fight for France in the Second World War. Hors la loi follows those same brothers – played by major French stars Jamel Debbouze, Sami Bouajila and Roschdy Zem – as the hard certainty of the war gives way to social unrest, political idealism and the allure of organized crime.

An iconic prologue in 1925 establishes the stakes. As a young boy tends the dry soil of his ancestral home in rural Algeria, French gendarmerie appear over the crest of the hill. With one colonial decree, the officers displace the family from their home forever, setting the tone for this story of struggle and strife. Twenty years later, the siblings have relocated to Sétif, where they now face a daily struggle against French colonial oppression. When the infamous Sétif massacre leaves the family broken and scattered across the globe, the brothers each take their own path to right the injustices inflicted upon their peoples.

Abdelkader (Bouajila), the intellectual, becomes the leader of the Algerian Independence movement, believing all-out war is the only answer. Messaoub (Zem), the eldest, is stoic and distant after returning scarred – both figuratively and literally – from fighting in Indochina. Saïd (Debbouze), the youngest, is an avid boxing fan and dreams of training the first Algerian boxing champion. Unlike the other two, Saïd wants no part of the revolution, and turns instead to pimping and running cabarets in the seedy dancehalls of Pigalle. As Abdelkader and Messaoub become more and more zealous in their quest for justice, the destinies of the brothers intersect and collide in the French capital.

Sweeping, dramatic and grand in scale, Hors la loi has the feel of The Godfather or Once Upon a Time in America.With the spirit of generations of north Africans in mind, Bouchareb brings the Algerian legacy of resistance to life, through the eyes of those who lived it.

Cameron Bailey

director bio

Rachid Bouchareb was born in Paris. His films include Baton Rouge (85), Cheb (91), which won the Prix de la jeunesse at the Cannes Film Festival, Poussières de vie (95), which received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, Little Senegal (01) and the Festival presentations Indigènes (06), which was nominated for an Academy Award, London River (09) and Hors la loi (10).

full credits

Principal Cast: Jamel Debbouze, Sami Bouajila, Roschdy Zem
Jean Bréhat
Executive Producer:
Muriel Merlin
Christophe Beaucarne
Yannick Kergoat
Marc Engels, Philippe Perot, Olivier Walczak, Franck Rubio, Thomas Gauder
Armand Amar
Production Designer:
Yan Arlaud, Taïeb Jallouli
International Sales Agent:
Production Company:
Tessalit Productions
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