OPIUM AND THE BATON/L’Opium et le Baton + Q&A with director Ahmed Rachedi and curator Joseph Fahim
Ahmed Rachedi | Algeria | 1977 | 135 min
Set amid the Algerian War of independence, an Algerian doctor decides to leave the troubles in Algiers and goes back to his hometown, a small village lost in the mountains. There, however, he finds out that the situation is equally as explosive: the guerrilla is active and the French military has to keep a close watch on the locals. Based on Mouloud Mammeri’s 1965 novel of the same name, Ahmed Rachedi’s faithful adaptation is, at once, extravagant and intimate; immediate yet complex. A tapestry about the struggle for liberation and the inherent problems of freedom, Rachedi’s film is also a reflection of the evolution of the Algerian war movies, combing both the sheer assurance of the Algerian cause with the skepticism that would grow in later pictures. This newly restored version is presented in the UK for the first time.
TICKETS HERE (£12/£11 concessions/£9 multi-buy discount)