The Repentant (El Taaib) w/The Clock and The Man

The Repentant (El Taaib) w/The Clock and The Man

dir. Merzak Allouache, Algeria, 2012, 87 min.

Rashid, a young Algerian mujahedeen, has decided to leave the terrorist group in the mountains and surrenders to a police officer; under the law of "pardon and national harmony" he gives up his weapon and officially becomes a “repentant”. He does his best to lead a normal life; nevertheless, his past keeps haunting him. He therefore decides to find a man whose daughter was once kidnapped by the terrorists. Merzak Allouache's film portrays the terrorist crimes from the perspective of common people, emphasising the impact on their lives and the lifelong consequences of the attacks suffered. The acclaimed French director of Algerian origin won awards for this film at festivals in Cannes and Chicago.

"Merzak Allouache delivers not just his best film of the past decade, but arguably his best in 36 years in the helmer’s seat. Tracking a former jihadist and a separated couple whose lives were destroyed five years earlier, “The Repentant” is a beautifully made, deeply emotional drama that catches us up in its troubled protagonists’ lives, all the way to a staggering finale. Though cinema is awash in Islamic fundamentalist themes, Allouache goes beyond mere issues with his intimate approach and narrowed focus. This is one Algerian movie that could finally see worldwide exposure, including Stateside." - Variety

preceded by:
The Clock and The Man
dir. Gazi Abu Baker, Israel, 2011, 12 min.
Based on a short story by the well known Palestinian writer Samira Azzam, this short film tells the tale of a young clerk who is awakened each morning by mysterious knocks on his door. Eventually, he discovers the culprit: an elderly man who disappears as soon as the door opens. The reasons for the old man's strange deed are revealed...


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The Cinema Studies Program, the Jewish Studies Program, the Middle East Center, and the Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations Department at the University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival and International House of Philadelphia, present the 2013 edition of NEW MIDDLE EAST CINEMA. Recently released feature films from several Middle East countries have been selected as the best to be presented to further the understanding of current Middle Eastern societies and cultures through cinema.

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The Repentant (El Taaib) w/The Clock and The Man

Wednesday, October 30 · 5:30 PM at International House Philadelphia

Free