Marcel Mrejen
Algeria, France, Netherlands | 2024 | 22 min
World premiere
Languages : Chinese, Tamasheq, French
Subtitles : English, French

Jury Prize for the best Short Film offered by la Fondation Goblet

Every year, thousands of Chinese emigrants go to work on building sites in Algeria, living on isolated bases in the desert. Some die there, without ever being repatriated. Based on eyewitness accounts, hearsay and fake news, Marcel Mrejen constructs a parable with dystopian overtones exploring the relentless (neo)colonial exploitation of the Algerian territory.

Under the vertical light, machines, solar farms and silhouettes appear – fleeting mirages between the rocky concretions. We are near In Ekker in the Algerian Sahara, where the French carried out underground nuclear tests in the 1960s. Atomic operatives, evoked by almost retro-futuristic official archival footage, have given way to employees of 21st century Chinese construction companies, housed in isolated living compounds. While their anonymous accounts of the arduous nature of the work serve to anchor Memories of An Unborn Sun in reality, Marcel Mrejen blends them into an impressive visual dystopia, which draws parallels between atomic energy in the hands of the former colonial power and the imaginary placing into orbit of an artificial sun, launched from the heart of the desert by the Chinese. One of them, meandering like a ghostly hallucination, reminds us of this future event, the promise of infinite growth, before being swallowed up by a sandstorm, while the voice of a Tuareg poet imprecates: "How long are we going to exist without a present, torn between yesterday and tomorrow?"
Emmanuel Chicon
Memories of an Unborn Sun, 2024


Nader Chalhoub
M'Hand Abadou Djezairi
Marcel Mrejen
M'Hand Abadou DjezairiFIEF ProductionsPhilippe MartinLes Films PelléasAmina Salem CastaingAlpha Tango Productions
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International Medium Length & Short Film Competition

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