The Other Shore | Chicago Reader

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Dominique Cabrera is a daughter of pieds-noirs, the French colonizers of Algeria, and her 1997 film examines the displacement felt by two generations of natives and colonials alike after Algeria's independence. Georges (Claude Brasseur) is a Frenchman born in Algeria who journeys to France for an operation, and Tarek (Roschdy Zem), the young doctor who treats him, is an Algerian who?s emigrated to Paris. The eventual rapprochement of these two bickering ideologues symbolizes the healing of old political wounds, but the plot is too contrived and schematic to work on an emotional level, despite the verite-style camera that drags us into their debates over past guilt and present alienation. Cabrera made her reputation as a documentarian, and she?s better at capturing racial outbursts and scenes of solidarity in the ethnic enclaves; her script (cowritten with Nidam Abdi) contains more speeches than dialogue.

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