Synopsis by Nathan Southern
The title may be slightly misleading: in lieu of a hard-bitten exposé about Algerian turmoil, this 2002 opus begins with then 24-year-old Swedish director Agnieszka ?ukasiak standing in front of a mirror and filming herself. She openly acknowledges her inability to value life, and her desire to face danger and suffering in order to change this. Not long after, ?ukasiak treks off to Algeria, camera-in-hand, and begins to film her experiences. She gets something considerably different than what she bargained for, however: scenes of mild youthful rebellion (teens drinking, smoking, and dancing to Madonna), alternating with images of the most brutal armed conflict. Then Lukasiak begins to develop feelings for the young man she is staying with, but he cannot commit to her given his familial obligations. Later, after a short return to Sweden, ?ukasia flies back to Algeria, hoping to salvage the relationship, but gets pulled much more deeply and irreversibly into the political conflict that is transpiring.
Algeria, autobiography, civil-war, execution, family-disapproval, forbidden-love, fundamentalism, Islam, oppression, political-conflict, political-upheaval