- Screening Dates: 26th May, 8pm // 2nd June, 6pm
- Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Reda Karteb
- Directed by: David Oelhoffen France 2014
- Running time: 110 mins
- Rating: M
- Language: French and Algerian with English subtitles
DRAMA: This tense tale of honour and friendship bears all the hallmarks of a classic frontier Western, not least in its vast Algerian desert setting. The year is 1954; the war is beginning and village schoolteacher Daru [Viggo Mortensen], an ex-French Army soldier, is caught in the crossfire. Born in Algeria but Spanish by lineage, he’s perceived as alien by both locals and colonisers alike. He’s obliged by the French police to escort Mohamed, a dissident [Reda Kateb] to a regional court to face trial for murder. Skirmishes with groups of soldiers, locals and rebels are fraught with suspicion and danger, constantly forcing the question of where Daru’s loyalties truly lie.
Based on ‘The Guest’, a short story by Albert Camus, writer-director David Oelhoffen’s drama underplays its contemporary relevance to resonant effect.
SOURCE: NZ International Film Festival