Investigating Paradise: 2017 Arab Film Festival Premiere
Film - Documentary | October 19 | 6-8:15 p.m. | 340 Stephens Hall | Note change in location
Director: Merzak Allouache
Country: Algeria / France 2017
Languages: Arabic, French
135 min · Black/White
From French-Algerian visionary Merzak Allouache, Berlinale 2017 pick INVESTIGATING PARADISE is a manifold treatise in what it means to be "radicalized." Far from haphazardly mobilizing buzz words in service to reductivism, however, Allouache is concerned with crafting a layered analysis of Algerian millennial culture and the efforts made by Salafi clerics to tempt this particularly vulnerable demographY towards the embrace of jihad. Through a sampling of everyone from college students at internet cafes and a karate instructor, to Imams and social intellectuals, it becomes apparent that Allouache's position is much deeper than what is readily and regularly espoused per "extremism" and "radicalization" on western media outlets. Picking up on his interest in troubled urban youth from his 2016 narrative master work (and AFF 2016 film) MADAME COURAGE, Allouache's latest is critical, even if, urgent viewing. By fusing elements of documentary with traditional narrativity cast against a black-and-white visual plane, INVESTIGATING PARADISE's docuform is just as complex as its content a hybrid film that leaves no easy way out for the viewer, much less the subjects contained within.