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Mar 4
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Feb 24
Wang Ramirez' US Tour 4701 Bath Street #46B, Suite NMD Philadelphia, PA 19137

Until The Birds Return - in the presence of the filmmaker

By Karim Moussaoui
2017 - France/Germany/Algeria/Qatar - 113 min

In Arabic with English subtitles.

Karim Moussaoui’s brilliant debut tells three, loosely related, stories set in a contemporary Algeria of abandoned construction sites, desert roads, and hospitals: a middle-aged businessman witnesses a brutal beating and fails to intervene; a young woman’s father asks her former boyfriend to drive her to her wedding; a hardworking neurosurgeon is asked to adopt the son of a woman whose gang rape he witnessed during the civil war. Weaving these Chekovian tales together in a seamless three-part structure, Moussaoui reflects upon his country’s past, present, and future. He sketches in the challenges faced by several generations of Algerians while evoking universal moral dilemmas and disappointment.

Through his carefully controlled vision of the happenstance of everyday life, Moussaoui recalls the understated rigor of masters such as Krzysztof Kieslowski and Abbas Kiarostami, yet also allows himself exhilarating flights of fancy such as an impromptu song and dance number on the side of a desert highway. Such formally ambitious, insightful films rarely come along, let alone in the hands of a first-time director. In a single feature, Karim Moussaoui has established himself as a major new voice on the international film scene.

An intriguing first feature from writer-director Karim Moussaoui that explores the damaged emotional landscape of his homeland. At times recalls Abbas Kiarostami’s Through the Olive Trees.” — HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

The screening will be followed by a discussion with the director, Karim Moussaoui.

Karim Moussaoui is an Algerian director. His medium-length film, The Days before, directed in 2013, has been nominated for the Cesar Awards for medium-length films in 2015 and received the Grand Prix du Jury  at  the Angers Festival in 2014. For Until The Birds Return, Karim Moussaoui was the 2016 winner of the Fondation Gan pour le cinéma.


« Until the Birds Return » is part of Young French Cinema, a program of UniFrance & the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.