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The Best Algerian Films Everyone Needs To Watch

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Following independence from French colonial rule in 1962, Algeria is now considered a cinematic hub with a myriad of home-grown productions that resonate with audiences in our region and all around the world simultaneously. 

Despite neighboring nations boasting scenes that might seem bigger and richer, the North African country has slowly, but steadily, inscribed its name alongside the rest of its peers as an industry to closely pay attention to. Regularly recognized in some of the planet’s most respected and esteemed celebrations of cinema, such as the Oscars (the first Arab film to win an Academy Award was Algerian) or the Cannes Film Festival (an Algerian film was also the first African film to win the Palme d’Or), Algerian filmmaking, though it entered a crisis in the 1980s due to political unrest, has seen a welcome resurgence in recent years.   

To honor the country of a 100 martyrs and its respective slate of features, we decided to take you on a journey through the vibrant and diverse world of Algerian cinema. From the early pioneers who laid the foundation to the emerging talents of today, below six Algerian movies to keep on your radar and experience the rich tapestry of Algerian storytelling. 

‘Papicha’ (2019)


Director: Mounia Meddour 

IMBD Synopsis: “Algiers, 1997. Terrorists wanting an Islamic state are everywhere. Women are oppressed, controlling their bodies, their clothes and the public space. Young student Nedjma is passionate about the idea of a fashion show.”

‘DNA’ (2020)

Director: Maïwenn

IMBD Synopsis: “After the loss of her grandfather, Maïwenn explores her heritage and her Algerian roots.”

‘Masquerades’ (2008)


Director: Lyès Salem

IMBD Synopsis: “Mounir Mekbek lives with his family in a small village in the heart of the Algerian countryside. Very proud and sure of himself, he has only one dream- to finally be appreciated by his fellow villagers. Screwing up his carefully maintained image is his headstrong, narcoleptic sister Rym who falls asleep anywhere and whom the village is convinced will end up a spinster. One evening, Mounir returns from town drunk and announces that he’s found a suitor for his sister. The fake story snowballs and snowballs until the suitor morphs into a rich, blonde Australian. The village begins preparing for the wedding in earnest – but without a bridegroom in sight.”

‘Let Them Come’ (2015)


Director: Salem Brahimi

IMBD Synopsis: “The late 80s in Algeria. Socialism is collapsing. Islamism imported from Afghanistan pushes the country into chaos: 200,000 dead. Under his mother’s orders, Nouredine marries the beautiful Yasmina. And with her he will discover love, family, and resistance. In spite of the horror. But nothing can survive Islamist violence.”

‘Chronicle of the Years of Fire’ (1975)


Director: Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina

IMBD Synopsis: “The beginnings of the Algerian Revolution as seen through the eyes of a peasant.”

‘The Repentant’ (2013)

Director: Merzak Allouache

IMBD Synopsis: “Thanks to the ‘civilian agreement’ law, an Islamist is pardoned and reinstalled in society. He soon understands law doesn’t erase the crimes he committed.”


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