Thirty-six years after the deaths of two young men in France, both victims of police brutality against people of North African origin, a film entitled “Nos Frangins”, (“Our Brothers” in English), opens to the public.
The film, directed by Rachid Bouchareb, focusses on the wave of police brutality in France against people of North African origin during the 1980’s.
“Malik Oussekine… Like everyone else, I think it was the first name we heard. Malik Oussekine. It’s the first name we put on a racist and police crime. He was a figure. From Malik Oussekine onwards, we started to name them. Before, they were killed, if I may say so, but they were not named”, said actor Samir Guesmi.
The victims were French citizens killed in two separate incidents on the same night. Both saw their place in French society questioned because of their ethnic origins.
Actress Lyna Khoudri plays the role of sister to one of the victims.
“I had to understand who this girl was, because the Oussekine family was a French family who had their origins thrown back in their faces, because for them, it was impossible, for Mohammed, it was impossible that his country, France, would turn against him”, she said.
Last May, the film was warmly welcomed at the Cannes Film Festival.
“A film like that could not have been made a few years ago in France, simply could not have been made, and the other films you mentioned, the magnificent film by Samir (Guesmi, Ed.), it suddenly exists. So I think that this thing is a real optimistic note with regard to how France is represented in its cinema”, admitted actor Reda Kateb.
The film “Nos Frangins” will represent Algeria in the Oscars.