Sat 8 July 2017, 6.30pm
Screening and Q&A with Narimane Mari
Dir. Narimane Mari
Algeria, 2013 (84 mins)
10% off 2 screenings
15% off 3 or more screenings
for Shubbak films at the Barbican
London, EC27 8SE
View on map
Multi-award-winning Bloody Beans (Loubia Hamra) is Narimane Mari’s first feature length film.Radical and playful Bloody Beans follows a group of children ‘playing’ war by reenacting Algeria’s War of Independence. Reduced to a diet of ‘bloody beans’, they loot a French army base and abduct a soldier.
With a poetic realism recalling the works of Jean Vigo, combined with an electro soundtrack by Zombie Zombie, history and memory collide in a trance-like and hallucinatory narrative that brilliantly captures the children’s unreal understanding of historical fact and play. Fluid camerawork, layered cinematic references and a deep reflection on the notion of freedom – cinematically, and in reality, Bloody Beans is “simultaneously charming and thematically complex… spectacular” (IndieWire)
Mari noted that the idea came from the 50th anniversary of the independence in Algeria. “I just had a question on my mind—what do we have to say about [it now]? The only [truth] that we have … is that now it’s a free country—that they [made] us free, and that they [won] a war for their freedom. [I was interested in showing] the emotion of freedom and the possibility of freedom. But I also wanted to go [beyond] the war and to transgress the reality. And to do that, children are the best and I want to play that with them.”
Mari put a call out for children between the ages of 8 and 14 in Bologhine in Bab El Oued in Algiers to make a film – 40 turned up, and so she worked with them all, workshopping over 2 months to write a story together. “I want[ed] to [capture] the feelings of their liberty and that’s why [the film defies] rules of narrative—I wanted to explore the consequences [through] the structure of the movie.”
Multi-award-winning Bloody Beans (Loubia Hamra) was Narimane Mari’s first feature length film; In February 2015, she directed La vie courante for Hors Pistes at the Centre Pompidou; she is currently developing a new feature.
Shubbak’s film programme is presented in partnership with the Arab Fund for Art and Culture – AFAC and the Barbican, with additional support from Al Mawred Al Thaqafy, British Council and Molinare.