Outside the Law (2010 film) could get an Oscar


Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi in French) is a drama film which came out with much publicity in France last year. The film will represent Algeria at the 83rd Academy Awards, where it is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film.

Directed by Rachid Bouchareb, starring Jamel Debbouze, Roschdy Zem and Sami Bouajila, the plot focuses on the Algerian crisis with colonial power France. The film was met by political controversy much before it was released. Some said it was one-sided, whilst others said it reflected the reality of what had happened,

The story is about the lives of three Algerian brothers in France between 1945 and 1962. It is a follow-up to Bouchareb's 2006 film ‘Days of Glory’. Outside the Law was a French majority production with co-producers in Algeria, Tunisia and Belgium. A historically unorthodox portrayal of the 1945 Sétif massacre made the film particularly controversial in France.

Many said that Outside the Law was written as a direct sequel to Rachid Bouchareb's 2006 film Days of Glory, about Africans who fought for France in World War II. The film shares many of the main actors, and starts at the place in history where Days of Glory- his previous film - ended.

The 19.5 million euro production was led by France's Tessalit Productions in co-production with France 2, France 3 and companies in Algeria, Tunisia and Belgium. Funding was granted by the National Center of Cinematography (commonly known as CNC in France) and via pre-sales to Canal+ TV channel in France. Out of the total investment, 59% came from France, 21% Algeria, 10% Tunisia and 10% Belgium.

Over screening, 393,335 tickets were sold which was considerably less than the 3,227,502 that Days of Glory had attained four years earlier.
As of 27 January 2011, Box Office Mojo reported that the worldwide revenues of Outside the Law were 3,292,518 US dollars.

Bouchareb explained that his team researched the subject for nine months including through interviews, and it took him two years to finish the script. Filming started at the end of July 2009 and lasted five months. The filming locations took place in Paris, Algeria, Tunisia, Belgian cities Charleroi and Brussels, Germany and the United States, with scenes set at the United Nations Headquarters. Approximately 90% of the scenes were shot in studio.

The other African film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (US) is Life, Above All from South Africa (Oliver Schmitz). But the South African Academy Awards Selection Committee and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) learned with disappointment that Life Above All has not made the final cut for the 83rd Oscars awards by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the Foreign Language Film category. In the same category, Danish director Susanne Bier's upcoming drama, In a Better World, partly shot in Kenya, got the nod and was nominated.