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In Mansourah, You Separated Us

Dorothée-Myriam Kellou
Denmark, France, Algeria, 2019
Production : Lyon Capitale TV, HKE Production Algérie, Sonntag Film, Les Films du Bilboquet

French, Arabic


During the Algerian War of independence, more than 2 million Algerian civilians were forcibly displaced by the French Army and resettled in camps. The uprooting was documented but has since been swept under the carpet. Back in Mansourah, his native village, Malek and his daughter Dorothée-Myriam document a historical memory that most young people know little about, despite its being unprecedented in the upheavals it led to in rural Algeria. Between France and Algeria, a girl and her father challenge this amnesia.

Avec le soutien de la Scam

Tënk's film review

After six years of research to document this incredible historical amnesia, Dorothée-Myriam Kellou brings her father back to his village, with the help of director Hassen Ferhani and his camera. We hear his account of the deportation in an unforgettable shot that lasts almost 5 minutes: the road disappearing into the winter as seen from the back of the tarp-covered truck transporting him. At the moment, there is nothing neutral about unbolting statues; what makes him speak out is finding in Nancy the statue of Sergeant Blandan, “hero” of Algeria’s conquest, displaced from Boufarik, where it “blocked my path” every day on his way to work! This film about rupture restores a historical archive… this massive rural exodus, a key episode in understanding contemporary Algeria, has been almost completely erased. However, this internal and internalised exile, which the film is tuned into, led to countless wanderings and migrations.

Olivier Barlet
Film critic and editor for Africultures

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Dorothée-Myriam Kellou

Dorothée-Myriam Kellou is a freelance journalist and filmmaker. She uncovered in the French newspaper Le Monde in June 2016 the scandal of the French company Lafarge indirect funding of the Islamic state group during the war in Syria. Her work was rewarded with the Trace International Prize for Investigative Reporting, which recognizes reporting that uncovers bribery and transparency in the business world. Trained in documentary filmmaking in Ateliers Varan, she completed her first feature film, "In Mansourah you separated us". The film was premiered at Visions du Réel in Nyon, Switzerland in April 2019. It has received several awards, including the Human Rights Prize at the Agadir FIDADOC International Documentary Film Festival in June 2019. She graduated as a Fulbright student from Georgetown University, Washington DC and from the Institut d'Ètudes Politiques in Lyon.

Other films in the collection: Brouillon d'un rêve