Madame Courage

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    Madame Courage

    Directed by

    Algeria, France


    90 min

    • Arabic


    Venice IFF

    Omar, an unstable and lonely teenager, lives in a slum in the suburbs of Mostaganem, Algeria. He is addicted to a famous psychotropic, nicknamed “Madame Courage”: Artane tablets, very popular among young Algerians, for their euphoric effect of invincibility. Omar is an expert thief. One morning, he goes downtown to commit his usual crimes. His first prey is a young girl called Selma, walking with her friends, prominently wearing a gold necklace. As he commits his larceny, their eyes meet.



    Adlane Djemil
    Lamia Bezouaoui
    Leïla Tilmatine
    Abdellatif Benahmed
    Mohamed Takerret
    Bahia Allouache
    Olivier Guerbois
    Tuong Vi Nguyen Long
    Yann Dedet

    Director's Statement

    With the film MADAME COURAGE, I maintain a critical and uncompromising eye on Algerian society, through the story of Omar, an alienated teenager. He lives the social and psychological misery experienced by thousands of marginalized young people, that provides a breeding ground for violence. The scourges of radical Islamism and corruption have plagued Algerian society for decades. Nowadays, drugs, prostitution, violence and daily riots put the country at risk of social and political eruption and no one can measure its impact. I indeed think that a filmmaker originating or living in these profoundly changing societies cannot escape a duty of commitment in his or her films.



    It packs quite a punch.

    Boyd van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter

    Allouache's film witnesses a socially urgent and haunting portrait of a lost generation.

    Victoria Whitehouse Infantino, Cineuropa

    Merzak Allouache

    Merzak Allouache


    Algiers born Merzak Allouache is a graduate of the IDHEC film school, Paris. His first feature OMAR GATLATO (1977) screened in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight sidebar in 1976 and is credited with changing the course of Algerian cinema. In a career that has spanned thirty years his many acclaimed films include UN AMOUR A PARIS (1987), BAB-EL-OUED CITY (1994), CHOUCHOU (2003) and HARRAGAS (2009).

    Selected Filmography