The daughter of the actor Zinedine Soualem starts directing films by retracing the life of her grandparents, and their journey from Algeria to Auvergne, France. A movie between laughter, tears and family memories.
The title would suggest a documentary on Algeria, but it takes place in France. In the Soualem family, whose son Zinedine is already a well-known actor in France, granddaughter Lina decided to look into the past of her grandparents, Mabrouk and Aïcha, who arrived in Auvergne, France in the 1950s, before Algeria’s independence.
“When I was little, I didn’t realize that we weren’t talking about Algeria,” confides the young director, whose documentary is both a tribute to her grandparents whom she admires, and a quest for her origins.
“The whole idea of this film is to break this silence”
The documentary traces several journeys: the one of the migration of this young couple first, from one side of the Mediterranean to the other, the one of the grandfather to find work as a polisher in a cutlery factory in Auvergne, and finally the one of the grandmother “Mémé”, separated after more than 60 years of marriage, but who still loyally takes care of her ex-husband.
Grandfather Mabrouk, who died before he could return to his native land, makes one of the rare confessions in front of the camera of his granddaughter : “He who leaves Algeria, he does not return.”
Lina came back for him, and for the making of this film, as an ode to her grandparents.