“Salut Cousin!” deals, in the heart of the old Belleville district, with the condition of Algerians on both sides of the Mediterranean. A country boy, Alilo arrives from Algiers filled witn wonder, ready to start his petty dealings. A town boy, his cousin Mok, a typical parisian second generation North African, takes him in. Alilo loses the adress of his contact, and so begins a 5-day chase to track down the suitcase he is supposed to take back to Algiers. During this forced stay, Alilo’s continuous amazement reveals the shackles of the Algerian society, and Mok’s countless survival occupations, as well as the extreme toughness of life in Paris…
Born in Algiers, Merzak Allouache grew up during the Algerian struggle for independence. He studied filmmaking at Paris’s celebrated IDHEC, and quickly moved on to directing feature films, documentaries, and television programs. Omar Gatlato (1976), his first feature film, set in the neighborhood of Bab el-Oued in Algiers, was such a success that it changed the course of Algerian cinema.
In 1994 Merzak returned to this same neighborhood to film Bab el-Oued City. The film captured the beginnings of the civil war that was then spreading across Algeria. Bab el-Oued City garnered the International Critics’ Prize at Cannes in 1994, as well as the grand prize at the Arab Film Festival in Paris.
Merzak’s other films include Adventures of a Hero/Aventures d’un heros (1978), The Man Who Watched Windows/L’Homme qui regardait les fenêtres (1982), and A Love in Paris/Un amour à Paris (1988). In 1989 he made Following October/L’après-octobre, a documentary about the riots that took place in the suburbs of Paris in 1988.
2005 recipient of the eighth Genevieve McMillan and Reba Stewart Fellowship for Distinguished Filmmaking
PRODUCTION : JBA Production 37, rue Turenne, 75003 Paris Tél. : 01 48 06 84 60 Fax : 01 42 76 09 67 La Sept Cinéma Flash-Back Audiovisuel (Alger) Artemis Productions RTBF Samsa Films (Luxembourg) VENTE A L’ETRANGER : Léonor Films 93, avenue Niel, 75017 Paris Tél. : 01 47 63 00 33 Fax : 01 47 63 00 32