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VENICE 2006 Horizons

Fleeing Algiers to live

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"You don’t know what you will find on the other side of the Mediterranean, but you do know who abandoned you and that’s what is most important". The destinies of two emigrants seeking a better life far from their home lie at the heart of Rome Rather Than You, a co-production between Algeria, France and Germany by the young director Tarique Teguia, which is screening in the Horizons section at the Venice International Film Festival.

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In Algeria, a "slow war" continues for over ten years with 100,000 victims. Two young lovers eager to flee Algiers, the poverty, the curfews and the very strict controls by military police board a boat. Spain, France, Italy, regardless of the destination, all you have to do is leave and start from scratch. To do this, they set out on a search for Bosco, a sailor that can provide them with illegal papers. A difficult search that forces them to cross, for the last time perhaps, deserts and dilapidated areas in Algiers’ suburbs.

According to the director, the film could be defined as a "road movie in slow motion where distance is brought closer together in an area under construction. A journey that confronts the general decline of the city, as it becomes withdrawn and a labyrinth of unfinished houses and street blocades.” But the film should not let hope triumph, as the film was made "in the hope of revealing the joy behind the burden of violence,” adds the director.

Produced by Algeria’s Neffa Films, the shooting of Rome Rather Than You proved a lengthy affair, with almost seven years needed to find financing. The film was co-produced by France’s Ina and German outfit Flying Moon, with support from the Hubert Bals Fund at the Rotterdam Film Festival and a contribution from Fonds Sud Cinéma.

No details on distribution have yet been announced. "I spoke with many people but the answer was always the same. They tell me that my film is unsellable in Europe. On the other hand, it shouldn’t encounter too many difficulties in Algiers for the time being," Teguia explains.

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(Translated from Italian)

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