Salut Cousin!Director: Merzak Allouache
Algeria, France, Belgium, Luxembourg | French, Arabic
Mok, a second generation immigrant and Parisian to the hilt receives his wide-eyed cousin Alilo, a small-time hustler from Algeria, who has just landed in Paris for the first time. Alilo has to to pick up a suitcase full of “designer' dresses that can be sold at inflated prices back home, but he has lost the address. He has to stay in Paris till he finds it. During this forced stay, the cousins will come face to face with the suffocating straitjacket of expat Algerian society as well as the harshness of life in Paris, which not so kind to newcomers or outsiders.
Stories of immigrants who come to terms with life in a foreign culture are nothing new to cinema, but few have done it as honestly, wittily and with the correct dose of humour and flair as the celebrated Merzak Allouache, Variety’s Middle East Filmmaker of the Year, does in his sixth feature Salut Cousin! Allouache takes care to give us an evenhanded look at the immigrant experience in Paris. Salut Cousin! was made during his exile from his homeland after the release of Bab El Oued City in 1994, when he was looking for a way to make a film on two things dear to him, Algiers and Paris, despite being unable to be in Algiers.