Filmmaker Narimane Mari in person for Q&A at both screenings!
A group of Algerian children frolic on the beach, but their sunning and roughhousing soon turns into a kind of reenactment of the Algerian War of Independence that plays out as equal parts Lord of the Flies and Les Carabiniers. Roaming the nocturnal streets like a cross between a pack of feral cats and a brigade of revolutionary guerrillas, the kids “capture” a French soldier and force him to put himself in their shoes by eating a plate of their much-despised dietary staple, the titular legumes. Revisiting several signature themes of post-colonial cinema—the costs and benefits of fighting for national independence, the strain that political struggle exerts across all strata of a colonized nation, changes in popular attitudes toward foreigners after successful or failed uprisings—Narimane Mari’s exhilarating first feature counts the work of Jean Vigo and Jean Rouch among its key forebears. Winner of the main competition at the 2013 CPH:DOX Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival.