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The Zenati family live in HELIOPOLIS, a town located in the Guelma region. A rich Muslim landowner, Mokdad Zenati holds a certain position within French colonial society. He is in favour of the Algerian people assimilating with France. However, his son Mahfoud is against the colonial power and supports Algerian independence. Inspired by real events, director Djaffar Gacem uses a family conflict to portray the reasons for the demonstrations of 8 May 1945. A celebration of the Allies’ victory, this date is also marked by the massacres of Sétif, Guelma and Kherrata perpetrated by the French colonists and was a turning point in the fight for independence.

TAHAR CHERIAA – À L’OMBRE DU BAOBAB Direction: Mohamed Challouf, digital, OF m. engl. UT, 70 min


Mohamed Challouf

Mohamed Challouf, born in the Tunisian city of Sousse, graduated from university in Italy in 1979, where he co-founded the Africa Film Festival in Perugia in 1983. Later, he also worked for festivals in Milan, Locarno, Hergla and Tunis. He published a book of photographs depicting childhood in Africa and completed his training in film production at the FEMIS film school in Paris. In 2001, he created his first documentary film, OUAGA, CAPITALE DU CINEMA, which earned him an invitation to the Venice Film Festival. Since then, he has made several documentaries, including one about Tahar Cheriaa, founder of the Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage.