Wow, this will be good. The American premiere of the Algerian film El Gusto, with Director Safinez Bousbia in person. Think a more touching and buoyant Buena Vista Social Club. This film is receiving off-the-chart reviews, and the fact that we can see it at this great theater with the director with a reception after (sponsored by the Embassy of Algeria), all for $12 is amazing.
IF YOU'd LIKE TO GO, YOU NEED TO BUY A TICKET FOR THIS. IT WILL SELL OUT - fairly quickly in my opinion. GO TO THIS LINK FOR TICKETS. You want the Friday at 6:30 show - there is also a show Saturday at 9 FYI but without a reception. AGAIN, YOU NEED TO BUY A TICKET FOR THIS beyond just rsvping here.
Algeria, France, 2011, 88 minutes, Color, Digital
In Person: Director Safinez Bousbia
It all started in a small mirror shop during director Safinez Bousbia's visit to Algiers in 2003 when she came across old photographs of a music class from the 1940s. Her curiosity inspired her to learn more, and she set out to track down the classmates, Muslim and Jewish, now between the ages of 70 and 100 and residing in Algeria and abroad. The photos were from sessions at the Conservatory of Algiers, where the students had studied under the legendary master El Hadj M'Hamed El Anka. Their musical genre Chabbi, literally "the music of the people," defied class, religion, and ethnicity. When the Algerian Revolution began the group could not sustain; the Jewish friends fled the country while the remaining band members scattered. Through years of detective work and extensive travel, Bousbia reunites the musician friends in this moving documentary to once again celebrate life and friendship as the group "El Gusto." Winner of Best Director from the Arab World at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.
In Arabic with English subtitles
The screening on Friday November 2 will be followed by a reception.
Toe-tapping and infectious on emotional and intellectual levels, "El Gusto" is Algerian-born Safinez Bousbia's heartwarming tribute to her native country's lost egalitarianism as much as to the elderly exponents of the popular music form called "chaabi." Comparisons are being made to "The Buena Vista Social Club," and while there are similarities, Bousbia's docu concentrates on the history as well as the music, making the orchestra's reunion at the end especially poignant. Fests will be breaking down the door, since auds are sure to embrace "El Gusto" with gusto; international arthouses could also have a winner.