17 February Sunday, 14:00
Director: Merzak Allouache
Cast: Boualem Benani, Aziz Degga, Farida Guenaneche
Algeria, 90’, 1977, color
Arabic, French with Turkish subtitles
A watershed film, Omar Gatlato holds a mirror up to Algerian male culture...and the mirror cracks. The title refers to the expression "gatlato al-rujula"—or, roughly, "machismo killed him"—and the film's mordant insights into male posturing and alienation in Algerian society animate this bit of folk wisdom. In mock documentary style, a young man recounts with wry commentary a typical day in his life in the Bab el-Oued quarter of Algiers, while the camera playfully shows a different story. In following Omar and his friends in their pursuit of happiness, the film examines with shrewd humour the gang values of urban youth—their passion for popular culture (soccer, "Hindoo" movies, Rai concerts); their hidden fear of women; their social insecurity in an environment where they are marginalized.