Chronicle of the Years of Embers
(Waqai sanawat al-djamr, Chronique des années de braise)
(Chronicle of the Years of Fire)
Soraya Tlatli is associate professor, Department of French, UC Berkeley, and a specialist on Francophone literature from North Africa, as well as colonial and postcolonial historiography.
Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina, Yorgo Voyagis, Leila Shenna, Cheikh Nourredine,
An Algerian farmer rides the tides of his nation's history—from drought to colonial injustices to, finally, the seeds of independence—in Lakhdar-Hamina’s astounding, decades-spanning epic from 1975, the first (and only) African or Arab film to win the Cannes Palme d'Or. "The most magnificent film to ever come from the Third World" (Albert Johnson, SFIFF), this grandiose combination of 1970s African revolutionary fervor, pulpy Bollywood-style melodrama, and muscular Sergio Leone–like Cinemascope cinematography (by Marcello Gatti, The Battle of Algiers) is just as revelatory now. "Here’s cinema as a history painting, as epic as Bertolucci’s 1900" (Mark Cousins).