A film by Hassan Ferhani, 2019, 100 min.
Screening window begins: Wednesday, April 7, 2021 12 pm EST.
Screening window ends: Thursday, April 15, 2021 11 pm EST.
In a truck stop in the middle of the Algerian Sahara, Malika welcomes, for a cigarette, a coffee or a plate of eggs, truckers, wanderers and dreamers… Hassen Ferhani's documentary about this off-the-grid café, is an intimate portrait of its proprietor and her guests — as well as the landscape, and Algeria.
The Sahara covers over four-fifths of Algeria. Somewhere in this vast expanse, Malika lives alone, running her café with one table and a menu that proposes an omelette and tea. Dwarfed by the sands that stretch out to the horizon and beset by harsh winds, her outpost seems oddly placed, and decidedly lonely. Yet, as Hassen Ferhani's quiet, vérité documentary unfolds, it becomes clear that this locale is hardly thirsting for life.
Loosely based on the journalist and writer Chawki Amari’s travelog Nationale 1, Ferhani’s film creates such intimacy that we feel we are sitting next to the proprietor. Through Malika's exchanges with her customers, portrait of a woman, a landscape, and even a country emerges.
To watch the trailer, please click here.
There are only 100 virtual seats available. First come, first serve. RSVP and you will receive a link to watch the film online at a time of your choice between April 7 and April 15.
Hassen Ferhani was born in Algiers. His critically acclaimed first feature film, Fi Rassi Rond-Point (A Roundabout in My Head) (2015) has been described by Hollywood Reporter as “Arguably the most beautiful film ever made about a slaughterhouse.” Ferhani directed his first short film, Les Baies d’Alger in 2006. It has been selected in official competition in many international festivals. In 2008, he participated in La Fémis documentary workshop where he directed the short film Le vol du 140. He also codirected the documentary Afric Hotel in 2010.