Bled Number One

  • 100'
  • Algeria
  • 2006
The film is set in the village (bled) in northeastern Algeria where the film maker Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche was born. The director himself plays the role of Kamel, who is the protagonist in the first part of the film at least. Kamel is forced to return to his bled: he had been deported from France after serving a prison sentence. He arrives in the village as a stranger. He hardly speaks a word of the language - Berber - any more. He remains silent and observes his surroundings and looks as if he is waiting until no one is disturbed by this fellow villager with his French ways.
The story is told loosely and with hardly any structure, but penetrates deeply under the skin of the Algerian question. Not structure, but rhythm and melody hold the fragments together, as in an improvised musical composition. It is not without reason that, during a documentary moment in the film, the director includes his composer while he is playing his guitar on a hilltop outside the village to depict the feelings of Kamel.
Later in the film, Louisa, a cousin of Kamel, comes more to the fore. Louisa wants to be a singer, a jazz singer even. Her family is shocked, because this village has also been touched by fundamentalist Islam. Her husband leaves his far-too-worldly wife, kidnaps their son and drives Louisa to insanity. It’s only when she is admitted to a psychiatric institution that she gets an opportunity to play the role of an Algerian Billie Holiday. (GjZ)
Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche
Countries of production
Algeria, France
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2007
Les Films du Losange, Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, Margaret Menegoz
Production Company
Sarrazink Productions
Les Films du Losange
Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, Louise Thermes
Lionel Sautier, Olivier Smittarello, Hakim Si Ahmed
Nicolas Bancilhon
Sound Design
Timothee Alazraki, Bruno Auzet, Mohamed Naman
Rodolphe Burger
Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, Meriem Serbah
Local Distributor
A-Film Distribution