12 user 7 critic

Viva Laldjérie (2004)

Not Rated | | Drama | 7 April 2004 (France)
This movie portrays three women living in today's Algeria between modern society and Islamic fundamentalism, self-determination and dependence. Goucem, a young woman who works for a ... See full summary »


Nadir Moknèche


Nadir Moknèche
1 nomination. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Lubna Azabal ... Goucem
Biyouna Biyouna ... Papicha
Nadia Kaci Nadia Kaci ... Fifi
Jalil Naciri Jalil Naciri ... Samir
Abbes Zahmani Abbes Zahmani ... Chouchou
Florence Giorgetti Florence Giorgetti ... La voyante
Lounès Tazairt Lounès Tazairt ... Docteur Aniss Sassi
Akim Isker Akim Isker ... Yacine Sassi
Fawzi B. Saichi Fawzi B. Saichi ... Le planton du cadastre (as Faouzi Saichi)
Serge Avedikian Serge Avedikian ... Monsieur Fares
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nabil Abada Nabil Abada ... Le petit garçon du cortège
Kamel Abdelli ... Nounou, le concierge (as Kamel Abdeli)
Cheb Abdou Jr. Cheb Abdou Jr. ... Ami de M. Fares
Samir Abdoun Samir Abdoun ... Le serveur du Rouge-Gorge
Rabah Aridj Rabah Aridj ... Le vendeur de tableaux


This movie portrays three women living in today's Algeria between modern society and Islamic fundamentalism, self-determination and dependence. Goucem, a young woman who works for a photographer and mistress of a rich doctor, her mother Papicha, a former cabaret star, and her best friend Fifi, a prostitute, all live in a hotel in the city center of Algiers. Their difficult personal situation and the growing influence of Islam lead to dramatic consequences... Written by fippi2000

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At The Edge Of The Muslim World
31 August 2009 | by lyonefeinSee all my reviews

What a moving portrayal of the human struggle, and the very real costs of that struggle, that occurs for so many today as the result of the cultural schizophrenia in places like Algiers and throughout the Muslim world. Just as so many of the economic and technological benefits of Western culture have begun to penetrate these countries enough to affect the daily lives of most people, radical Islamists enter the scene en force as a reaction against the political ideas and social freedoms that so many also wish to participate in. And much of the ordinary population is caught up in the confusing and dangerous middle ground.

Each of the four primary female characters in this film embody the split personality that *is* the Muslim world today. Each one navigating between desires and ambitions born from her sense that it is permissible to dream of freedom and happiness--however that is symbolically represented for her in her visions of a self-defined destiny...............yet each also struggles against the curbs placed on that freedom and self-determination by the culturally-shrinking society that surrounds her.

In the film this is wonderfully portrayed in the stark difference between the public and the private spaces in which the characters function. This is most obvious in the costuming, as the women cover themselves completely whenever they go "out" (ironically, making them anything but "out") and uncover when they are inside. But this difference is also portrayed in the interaction between the main characters themselves, as though the traditional clothing in which they are hidden also creates a wall between them--and it is only inside, when they have taken off those coverings, that they can relate on an intimate level.

There are crucial - and painful - moments of crisis in the film when these separations break down: bringing the psychic walls of coveredness into the private realm, or being exposed and uncovered in the public realm. And in these moments, we see that things start to break down in the lives of the characters. This also is a continuation of the metaphor: for those living in the schizophrenia of the Muslim world today, who attempt individually and societally to simply put the modern Western world in one compartment and the tug of Islamist fundamentalism in another, who attempt to simply switch costumes while going from one to the other -- such a way of living, such a way of being eventually has to break down.

The film does not attempt to resolve this problem, but merely to set it before us. On the way to its conclusion there is great tragedy, minor redemption, and a possibility of some vague hope. Let us also, as the audience, dare to posses some hope for a future resolution in the Muslim world.....one that does not take such a toll on the women who live their lives within it.

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France | Algeria | Belgium


French | Arabic

Release Date:

7 April 2004 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Viva Laldjérie See more »


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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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