La-bas ... mon pays (2000)

Run Time - 115 min.  |   Countries - France   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Mark Deming

The bitter legacy of the French/Algerian War set the stage of this drama from director Alexandre Arcady, himself a Frenchman of Algerian birth. Pierre Nivel (Antoine DeCaunes) is a noted French television journalist and network anchorman. One day, he receives an unexpected visitor, an Algerian man with a message from someone named Leila. Pierre was born in Algeria, and he lived there until he was 17, when the French were forced to leave after Algeria won its independence in 1962. He's kept his Algerian past a secret from most of his friends and colleagues, but the note from Leila, his teenage sweetheart, leads him back to the land of his birth. It turns out that Leila now has a grown daughter, Amina (Nozha Khouadra), and Leila needs Pierre's help to smuggle her and her daughter out of the country. A defiant woman, Amina's refusal to go through with an arranged marriage to a fundamentalist and removal of her veil in public has put both herself and her family in great danger. La Bas ... Mon Pays/Return to Algiers was the first French production to be shot on location in Algeria since the nation won its independence.