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PRODUCTION France

Ameur-Zaïmeche to shoot last of trilogy

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Dernier Maquis (“Last Scrubland”), the third feature by Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, will start its six-week shoot in and around Paris on August 6. The title will complete a trilogy comprising Wesh, Wesh, What’s Happening? (2002) and Bled Number One [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Cannes 2006 Un Certain Regard entry, see article and interview).

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The upcoming feature will star Fellag (L’ennemi intime [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Michou d'Auber [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), Nathalie Richard (Premonition [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
) and Ameur-Zaïmeche himself, as well as Sotigui Kouyaté (Little Senegal), Christian Milia-Darmezin (Wesh, Wesh…) and Abel Jafri (the cousin in Bled Number One).

Written by the director and his associate Louise Therme, Dernier Maquis tackles the rather controversial topic of Islam in France, here in working class areas and in the workplace.

The story follows Titi (Milia-Darmezin), a young mechanic and Islam-convert, who works in a heavy goods vehicle garage run by a Muslim owner (Fellag).

The action begins when the garage owner decides to open a mosque in the basement of a hotel that he owns in an industrial area. His brother Mao (Ameur-Zaïmeche), the foreman and his Muslim workers are expected to attend. After having assisted at some prayer sessions, Mao and the mechanics (Jafri included) revolt against the imam chosen by the owner, preferring instead to pray together where they work.

When the boss takes them by surprise, out of anger he humiliates his brother in front of his staff. Mao then demands that the family business be shared so they can organise the garage as they wish. Faced with his brother’s point-black refusal, which is backed up by the mechanics, Mao takes over the garage. A fight ensues that ends tragically with the accidental death of Titi.

Kouyaté plays the garage caretaker, while Richard stars as a prostitute in the industrial area.

Produced, like Bled Number One, by the director’s outfit Sarrazink and by Margaret Menegoz for Les Films du Losange, who will also handle the title’s French release and international sales, Dernier Maquis is expected to be ready by February 2008.

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(Translated from French)

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