FRANCE / Algérie, mon amour, a broadcast which went down badly

On May 26th France 5 broadcast Algérie, mon amour, a documentary by journalist Mustapha Kessous. It caused an outcry in Algeria.

Algérie, mon amour

In his film Kessous, a journalist on Le Monde, tries to explain the Hirak, an on-going popular protest movement against the state. Kessous focusses on five young Algerians under the age of 30. They talk to camera about their life, their hopes and their frustrations.
Although the documentary’s trailer was widely shared on the social networks before its broadcast, the comments quickly turned into accusations. The five people interviewed are criticized for what they say and for the way they describe the Hirak. The film-maker is accused of discrediting the movement and spreading a bad image of it.

As well as the on-line criticisms, the documentary’s broadcast had political repercussions. The day afterwards the Algerian government officially condemned the film in a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It recalled its ambassador in Paris, saying that “under the pretext of freedom of expression, these are in fact attacks against the Algerian people and their institutions.”

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