Producers: Malek Bensmaïl, Hachemi Zertal
Production Company: Cirta Films, Hikayat Films
A well-known actor in Algeria meets a Japanese woman who wants to adapt for the stage the tale of an ulama’s journey to Japan at the turn of the last century. While in the Far East, this Muslim theologian pondered the Arab-Muslim world’s fascination with the West and the reasons why its own modernization failed. One century later, the two theater personalities ask themselves these same questions as they travel on the ulama’s trail from Algiers to Cairo, Istanbul to Tokyo.
Malek Bensmaïl was born in Constantine, Algeria, in 1966. He devotes his time to making challenging documentaries about his country, in which he focuses on themes such as belonging and identity. He seeks to confront Algeria with its “other side” by dealing with contemporary societal issues like democracy, modernity, language and society. His films include: China Is Still Far (2009), Le Grand Jeu (2005), Aliénations (2003), Algérie(s) (2003), Plaisirs d’eau (2003) and Des vacances malgré tout... (2001).