section Feature Film Competition


  • Alexandre Arcady
  • FR
  • 2023
  • 128

Der 15-Jährige Antoine wächst in den 1950er-Jahren in Algier auf, umgeben von einer chaotisch-liebevollen Hausgemeinschaft – jüdisch, muslimisch, christlich, das spielt kaum eine Rolle. Bis in der Stadt Bomben hochgehen. Die im Rückblick entfaltete Geschichte zeigt, wie Antoine seine Leidenschaft für Kinofilme entdeckt, während sich der Algerienkonflikt zuspitzt.

Laughed at as a teenager for his cinematographic ambitions, Antoine returns to his hometown as a celebrated filmmaker. With his 15-year-old son Thomas, he roams the streets, discovers the places of his childhood and remembers... At the end of the visit, he will present his own film about his lost homeland. This is how the story unfolds between the protagonist of the present and his memories of a poor but happy childhood, which we as the audience of this film are presented with in the movie.

Director Alexandre Arcady also tells his own story. He himself was born in Algeria in 1947 and emigrated to France with his family at the age of 15.

From 1954 onwards, there was increasing tension in Algeria, which had been occupied by the colonial power France since 1830, due to economic and political inequality and discrimination against the Algerian population. The tensions led to protests and uprisings and ultimately to a series of attacks. Algeria gained its independence in 1962. The Algerian War was only conceptually recognized as such by France in 1999 and is still present in France's collective memory today, shaping politics and society.


"Above and beyond the colonial war that ripped apart entire populations, I want to talk about what united them. The rue du Lézard where I come from, and whose story I tell is a microcosm of Algeria back then, with its Kabyle, Mozabite, Moslem, Catholic and Jewish communities. I was part of the Sephardic community, present in Algeria for three thousand years. Their coexistence with the other populations was alternately fertile or tumultuous. The cultures were enriched by common practices, shared feasts and rites... We all lived together until decolonization destroyed that equilibrium.

I would like this film to transmit that common memory in the same way as the adult Antoine hands on the memory of his family to his son.

Like all those who survive a vanished era, I dream of bringing those days back to life on screen, to recreate a way of life that many today fail to understand.

Using my own biography, examining my own childhood, I felt that what I wanted to come through in this film would prove interesting to us today in France, where our diverse communities are also struggling to cohabit peacefully today."

Text: Charlotte Kühn

Following the screening on June 21st at Thalia Babelsberg there will be a Q&A with actor Christian Berkel.

watch trailer



international title THE BLOND BOY FROM THE CASBAH


JFBB section Feature Film Competition

  • director Alexandre Arcady

country/countries FR

year 2023

duration 128

Portrait of Alexandre Arcady

Alexandre Arcady

BIO Born in Algeria on March 17, 1947, Arcady Egry, also known as Alexandre Arcady, is a film director. In the late 60s, he began an acting career by appearing in a TV series entitled LA CRAVACHE D'OR. Then, he began directing short films and TV movies. In 1977, with his partner, director Diane Kurys, he founded a production company with which he produced the hit PEPPERMINT SODA, as well as COCKTAIL MOLOTOV (1980). In 1979, he signed his first feature film, LE COUP DE SIROCCO. Based on his own personal story, the film, which recounts the arrival of the Pieds-noirs in France, was an unhoped-for success, revealing the talent of Patrick Bruel. After this first film, Alexandre Arcady made exile his favorite subject, directing LE GRAND CARNAVAL (1983) and LÀ-BAS, MON PAYS (2000). The director also dabbled in other genres, such as thrillers: K and BREAK OF DAWN, and dramas: THE BIG PARDON, LE GRAND PARDON 2 and DIS-MOI OUI. He also tackled comedy with HOLD-UP (1985) and TU PEUX GARDER UN SECRET?. He then returned to dramas and crime genre with COMME LES CINQ DOIGTS DE LA MAIN (2010), WHAT THE DAY OWES THE NIGHT (2012) and 24 DAYS (2014). In 2023, he returns with the film THE BLOND BOY FROM THE CASBAH retracing his entire history in Algiers.