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VENICE 2008 Competition / Algeria-France

Geopolitics according to Tariq Teguia in Inland


Malek is a surveyor; he measures places and borders, calculates distances and symbolically marks out the geopolitical lines of territories. In Inland – whose original title, Gabbla, means hinterland, inland or distance in Arabic dialect – 40-year-old Algerian director Tariq Teguia continues to explore the map drawn in his debut feature Rome Rather Than You, which screened at the 2006 Venice Film Festival in the Horizons section.

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The filmmaker commented: "Inland looks at present-day Algeria, through the experiences of a surveyor sent on a mission to the areas affected until recently by Islamist terrorism. I wanted to film the post-war period, film its traces and its lasting effects. Before the character, I therefore created a personal vanishing line deeper inside the country, towards the South, towards a point of disappearance.

Malek (played by Algerian star Ahmed Benaissa) and a group of political activists discuss a country that doesn’t know which direction to take. The protagonists are framed against magnificent urban and desert backdrops, linked together by an extraordinarily contemporary yet unhurried and lingering direction, which sets the pace for the actors’ performances and the audience’s viewing experience. The director continued: "In order to film the present, you need to be contemporary right down to the formal choices, contrasting different expressive registers".

Post-production on the Algerian/French film was carried out in Europe: the editing was completed in Paris, part of the laboratory work in Zurich and the mixing at the Fresnoy National Studio of Contemporary Arts (which co-produced the title).

After Haile Gerima’s Teza [+see also:
film profile
, Inland is the second African film to emerge as a serious contender for a Lion Award at this year’s Venice Film Festival.

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(Translated from Italian)

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