Speaker : Matthieu LACLAU
Host : CHAN Tze Woon、Eric TSANG
Conducted in English
Algeria, France, China, Qatar, Kuwait, Germany｜2012｜DCP｜83’
In Arabic, French with Eng sub
In 1960, El Hadi Benadouda joined the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) to carry out exploits and assassinations in France – all in the name of revolution and freedom. This part of his life has always been a secret, until his great-nephew, Fidaï’s director Damien Ounouri, came across an old newspaper clipping. 50 years after Algerian Independence, Ounouri and his great-uncle take a trip to France to revisit buried memories. As he reenacts assignments from his FLN-fighter days, El Hadi realises that the memories of his dark past have never left him.
Co-produced by Jia Zhangke, on whom Ounouri made a documentary, Fidaï is an intimate and contemplative portrait of a little known part of the Algerian Revolution. Lensed and edited by Matthieu Laclau, alongside co-editor Mary Stephen, the idyllic Algerian countryside and the Benadouda children’s bright faces cross paths with El Hadi’s memories and graphic footages of the war, reminding us of the country’s battered past.
2012 Toronto IFF
2012 IDFA Documentary Festival
2012 Festival des 3 Continents
2013 Hong Kong IFF
Damien OUNOURI is an Algerian director and producer based in Algiers. His documentary Fidaï (2012), co-produced by the Chinese director Jia Zhangke, had its premiere at the Toronto IFF. His medium-length fiction Kindil El Bahr (2016, Jellyfish) had its premiere at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. He’s currently developing his first fiction feature The Last Queen, a 16th century period piece in Algiers, telling the story of a queen standing alone against the most feared of pirates, Red Bear.
CHAN Tze Woon is a Hong Kong filmmaker. Graduated from Academy of Film at Hong Kong Baptist University in 2013. A large-scale occupation in 2014 prompted his first feature-length documentary Yellowing (2016). The film won the Shinsuke Ogawa Award at Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, also nominated for the Best Documentary at Taipei Golden Horse Film Awards and selected for IFF Rotterdam. He is now working on his new project Blue Island (work-in-progress), exploring new possibilities in film financing, production format, cinema language and distribution.
Eric TSANG is a Hong Kong-based independent filmmaker. His short film A Thousand Sails (2019) was selected by Sundance Film Festival and won various local and international awards. Funded by The 5th First Feature Film Initiative, He is now preparing for his debut feature The Dinner.
Matthieu LACLAU is a French editor who has been working in China since 2008. He studied Film Theory in Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle and received his Master’s degree in 2008. In 2013, he won the Golden Horse Best Editing for A Touch of Sin directed by Jia Zhangke and in 2017, the American Chlotrudis Awards Best Editing for Mountains May Depart directed by Jia Zhangke. He edited both feature films and documentaries, and often collaborates with young filmmakers. Recently, he edited Still Tomorrow by Fan Jian, Dragonfly Eyes by Xu Bing, Ash Is Purest White by Jia Zhangke, The Crossing by Bai Xue and A First Farewell by Wang Lina. In 2019, he completed the editing of two feature films selected in the Official Selection of the Cannes FF: The Wild Goose Lake directed by Diao Yinan (Competition), Nina Wu directed by Midi Z (Un Certain Regard) In 2020, he’s nominated for the Taipei Film Awards best editor for his work on Nina Wu and finished the editing of The Best Is Yet to Come, both selected in Venice FF (Orizzonti) and TIFF.