Rome Rather than You

A film in the San Francisco International Film Festival. Presented in association with the Arab Film Festival. SKYY Prize Contender. West Coast Premiere. Sponsored by the Forum on Contemporary Europe, Mediterranean Studies Program, and Abassi Program in Islamic Studies at Stanford University.

About the Film

Kamel dreams of returning to Italy, where he once baked pizzas, this time leaving Algeria for good and bringing his girlfriend Zina with him. For this they will need papers, so the couple embarks on a journey from the urban center to deserted suburbs in search of the immigrant smuggler who can help them. The couple has grown up among the violence that has plagued Algeria for more than a decade and taken more than 100,000 lives. Ongoing strife between government forces and Islamist opposition is so much a part of day-to-day living that Kamel and Zina ignore the danger they face on the road and turn their quest into a kind of holiday. Director Tariq Teguia calls his debut feature "a slow-motion road movie," but it is a road movie only in abstract. Much of the travel takes place on streets without names or numbers and through a maze of buildings - a symbolic dead end. Short asides into the lives of Islamic fundamentalists and other would-be emigrants limn Algeria's dire situation and underline the desperation behind Kamel's desire to leave. Yet even as the pair's languid odyssey grows ever more quixotic, the drama never quite slips into tragedy, buoyed on by the lovers' uncomplaining acceptance of whatever fate throws them and an embrace of life that contains happiness and the possibility of a brighter future. In similar fashion, Teguia has fashioned a portrait of Algeria stunned and stunted by war that is more hopeful than bleak. - Pam Grady

Showtimes

Friday, April 27 / 9:15 / Kabuki / ROME27K

Saturday, May 5 / 2:00 / Kabuki / ROME 05K

Sunday, May 6 / 8:45 / Kabuki / ROME 06K

Tuesday, May 8 / 6:30 / Aquarius / ROME 08A

For more information, go to: http://fest07.sffs.org/films/film_details.php?id=94

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