Friday, March 1, 2024

Far from men

Director:David Oelhoffen

Year: 2014

Duration : 101 min.

Country: France

Distribution: Viggo Mortensen, Reda Kateb, Djemel Barek, Vincent Martin, Nicolas Giraud, Jean-Jérôme Esposito, Hatim Sadiki, Yann Goven, Antoine Régent, Sonia Amori, Antoine Laurent, Ángela Molina

Script: David Oelhoffen. Story: Albert Camus

Genre: Drama. Western | Years 50. Colonialism. África

Music: Warren Ellis, Nick Cave

Photography : Guillaume Deffontaines

Producer: One World Films, Perceval Pictures

Distributor in Spain : Good Films, La Aventura

Premiere in Spain: October 2, 2015

Original version: French and Arabic with Spanish subtitles.

2014 Festival of Venecia: Prize SIGNIS


Argelia, 1954. In the harsh winter, Daru (Viggo Mortensen), a French professor, reluctantly agrees to escort Mohamed (Reda Kateb), a man accused of murder, through the Atlas Mountains to face trial. Pursued by men claiming the blood law and revenge settlers, the two men rebel. Together they will fight to regain freedom.


“Beautiful film. Complex and intricate at heart and simple and fabulous in appearance. It is a journey. Two men and a landscape. Many adventures, difficulties and a conclusion”

The exile and the kingdom, A compilation of six stories that Albert Camus published in 1957, a few months before receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature, contained in its own title its unitary key of interpretation, which made the volume almost a narrative illustration of many of the ideas exposed in his 1951 trial The rebellious man.  Daru, the isolated schoolmaster in a small town in Algeria who starred in one of the stories —The guest-, could rise to the perfect incarnation of the Camussian hero, as well as the paradigmatic subject of that tension of opposites synthesized in the title: a type split between exile, or the verification of a lack of unitary meaning in existence, and the kingdom, or the imperative of building one’s own moral sense in that zone of helplessness that is a world without God, fractured by the confrontations between the irreconcilable laws of men.

In  The guest, a gendarme approaches the school where Daru teaches his classes to entrust him with the mission of accompanying a common criminal – a peasant who has murdered his cousin – to the town where he will be tried.

“In that desert nobody was anything, neither he nor his guest. And yet, Daru knew that neither one nor the other could have really lived outside of that desert ”, wrote Camus, reinforcing the physical and symbolic importance of a landscape that filmmaker David Oelhoffen turns into another character in Away from men,  his very particular reading of the story. In the film, as in its literary base, the backdrop is the Algerian War, but Oelhoffen is aware of the extent to which history appeals to all of us, here and now, and from there probably arises one of the most interesting decisions. and provocative: betraying Camus while being scrupulously faithful to the implications of his thought.

Far from men converts The host  in a western, where the physical path offers the first deviation from the original. A western minimalist where two strangers – Viggo Mortensen and Reda Kateb in an equal duel of sobriety – learn to decipher between emptiness and destruction. Oelhoffen ends up being more optimistic than the lucid disenchanted Camus, in a gesture that seems the result of a conscientious and coherent reflection.

And at the same time it introduces a vein of underground humor, especially around the story of the periapical statue of Apollo. At times, the film borders the fine line that separates the endearing from the ancient, but above all it celebrates the possibility of love as a refuge even in the most hostile context.

Delicate and with a bitter touch that does not overshadow its jovial spirit, Gaza mon amour delicate and with a bitter touch that does not overshadow its jovial spirit, And the Nassers don’t miss the opportunity to send a message to the world, either. From television, a talkative states: “No one has a development strategy for Gaza. Not the Palestinian authorities, not Hamas, not the other political parties. Neither did Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, the United States and the Arab League. No one has it”.

Next screening: December 9, 2021

RETURN TO HOPE GAP by William Nicholson.

Edward makes the decision to leave his wife Grace after 29 years of marriage. From this moment on, each of them, in their own way, will find a way to rebuild their lives in a small coastal town near the cliffs of Hope Gap.



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