La Langue du feu

Tarek Sami
Algeria, France, Qatar | 2024 | 94 min
World premiere
Languages : Kabyle, Kurdish, Arabic
Subtitles : English, French

Between the Calais Jungle, where Tarek Sami spent many months filming; Algeria, which he left at the age of 20; and South Africa, where his brother has now settled, the filmmaker captures faces and stories by the fireside, staving off the fatality of the world’s polarity and reclaiming history. With this graceful film, he delivers a poetic ode to the damned of the earth striving to live their lives.

Shortly after his previous film, Chantier A (VdR 2013, co-directed by Lucie Dèche and Karim Loualiche), Tarek Sami ventures south once more, on a journey that is both mental and physical. In 2002, at the age of twenty, he left Algeria for France in search of love and freedom away from his village and his family ties, but he is now overcome with doubt: "unable to turn back. Thinking about the absent, absences. Thinking about the ashes of the house I no longer live in (...). That is exile." He spends long months with migrants in the Calais Jungle, working as an improvised translator and public writer, filming them in the intimacy of their tents and around the warmth of the fire, so as not to “immobilise them in the same way that this absurd border has immobilised them”. In a parallel montage, Tarek Sami joins his brother, who has settled in South Africa, and undertakes the return journey from South Africa to North Africa on foot, in an attempt to ward off the inevitability of the polarity of the world and reconquer History. The filmmaker has once again created a film imbued with infinite grace, a poem to the damned of the earth striving to live their lives.
Emilie Bujès
The Language of Fire, 2024
Chantier A, 2013
Les Serpents de la capuche, 2009


Tarek Sami
Lucie Dèche
Julie Borvon
Lucie DècheL'ArgentNordine SamiGuillaume BordierL'Argent
Sales contact
Lucie DècheL'

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