International Competition

143 Sahara Street

Hassen Ferhani
Screening time  
05.10. / Monday, 17:00 - 19:00 Ticket

The Sahara covers over four-fifths of Algeria. Somewhere in this vast expanse of the desert, Malika lives alone, running her café with one table and a menu that offers an omelette and tea. Dwarfed by the sands that stretch out to the horizon and beset by harsh winds, Malika's outpost seems oddly placed, and decidedly lonely. Yet, as Hassen Ferhani's quiet, vérité documentary unfolds, it becomes clear that this locale is hardly thirsting for life. Malika's off-the-grid spot is a welcome rest stop for a variety of travellers, who come not just for the food but also to share their stories. Religion, the economy, politics, family – Malika listens, interjects, and absorbs. And when her guests inevitably leave, there's a sense that the café has expanded to hold their memories. But Malika's kingdom – she is the ruler of what might (reductively) be dubbed "no-man's land" – is not immune to the march of the so-called progress: a petrol station is to be built next door.


Hassen Ferhani

Hassen Ferhani was born in Algiers in 1986. In 2006, he directed his first film Les Baies d’Alger. He took part in summer school at La Fémis and co-directed Afric Hotel (2011). Later on, he made short documentary Tarzan, Don Quichotte et nous (2013). Screened at Visions du Réel, FIDMarseille and Locarno, the film reflected his interest in a style of documentary bordering on fiction. Roundabout in My Head (2015), shot in slaughterhouses in Algiers, was his first feature. 143 Sahara Street (2019) is his latest documentary.

General sponsor

143 Sahara Street

France, Algeria, Qatar
2019, 103'

Directed by:
Hassen Ferhani

Screenplay by:
Hassen Ferhani

Hassen Ferhani

Edited by:
Stéphanie Sicard, Nadia Ben Rachid, Nina Khada, Hassen Ferhani

Narimane Mari, Olivier Boischot

Produced by:
Allers Retours Films, Centrale électrique

Festivals & Awards:

Locarno International Film Festival 2019 – Best Emerging Director – Filmmakers of the Present; RIDM 2019 – Special Jury Mention; Torino Film Festival 2019 – Best International Documentary; DMZ Docs 2019 – Grand prix; El Gouna Film Festival 2019 – Silver Star Feature Documentary Competition; Three Continents Festival 2019 – Silver Montgolfière, Young Jury Prize, Audience Award; IDFA 2019; São Paulo International Film Festival 2019; Warsaw International Film Festival 2019; Cork International Film Festival 2019; Entrevues Film Festival 2019; Hainan International Film Festival 2019; FIC Valdivia - 2nd Special Mention;  Movies That Matter FIlm Festival; Africa Alive Festival 2020  DOK.Fest München 2020; CPH:DOX 2020, Luxembourg City Film Festival 2020; Beldocs 2020; San Francisco International Film Festival 2020;


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