12 23 oct '21
9aa82eb7 c03f 4cb8 9457 ca874417558c

Assia Djebar

La Zerda ou les chants de l’oubli (The Zerda or the Songs of Oblivion)

Courtisane: Out of the Shadows 60' - 1982 - Dialogue: Arabic, French - Format: DCP
Director: Assia Djebar
As a historian, Assia Djebar had been asked by Pathé-Gaumont to sift through some old film reels, which turned out to be discarded newsreels on the colonies, focusing on the everyday life of the Maghrebi peoples from the early twentieth century to the Second World War.
Fri 22 Oct
16:30
KASKCinema
Subtitles: German - English

As a historian, Assia Djebar had been asked by Pathé-Gaumont to sift through some old film reels, which turned out
to be discarded newsreels on the colonies, focusing on the everyday life of the Maghrebi peoples from the early twentieth century to the Second World War. Out of the colonial discards, Djebar, in collaboration with poet Malek Alloula and composer Ahmed Essyad, wove together footage of the Zerda ceremony with poetic voice-overs recounting the lived experiences of indigenous Algerians, interspersed with “songs of oblivion” to recognize traditions that are being lost to colonialism even as they are tokenized by and subjugated to the colonial gaze.

Digital restoration by Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art.

With the support of Goethe-Institut Brussels.

“In a Maghreb region subjugated by colonial domination
and reduced to silence, photographers and filmmakers invaded to capture us in images. The Zerda is their bleak “celebration” of our society. In stark contrast to their images with their penetrating gaze, we attempted to create an alternative vision, offering glimpses of a daily life held in contempt … But above all, behind the veil of this now exposed reality, we collected anonymous voices that re-imagined the soul of a reunified Maghreb, and of our past.”

Image gallery

9aa82eb7 c03f 4cb8 9457 ca874417558c

Credits

Director

Assia Djebar

More information

Dialogue

Arabic, French

Subtitles

German - English

Year

1982

Technical Specs

Format
DCP

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