Sunday, October 9, 2005

War Without Images: Algeria, I Know That You Know

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Presented in Association with the Consulate General of Switzerland in San Francisco; SF Camerawork; and Cinemayaat, Arab Film Festival.

Algeria in the 1990s was all but abandoned by the international media, while political corruption, religious fundamentalism, and violence almost destroyed the country. In War Without Images filmmaker Mohammed Soudani returns to his homeland, accompanied by Swiss photographer Michael von Graffenried who had documented the strife in the early ’90s. Together they seek the photographer’s subjects, engaging with people from all walks of life—traumatized survivors, an activist who criticizes the photographer for focusing on veiled victims, a religious fundamentalist who condemns photography itself. Questioning the uses of documentary images, but allowing audiences to decide for themselves, the film also presents a unique portrait of contemporary Algeria. (Irina Leimbacher)