Alone in a small white house on the edge of national road 1, the Trans-Saharan road, which connects Algiers to Tamanrasset crossing the immensity of the desert, Malika, 74, one day opened her door to the director Hassen Ferhani, who came there to scout with his friend Chawki Amari, journalist at El Watan and author of the story Nationale 1 which relates his journey on this north-south axis of more than 2000 km. The Malika of Amari's novel, which Ferhani admits to having first perceived as a "literary fantasy", suddenly takes on an unsuspected human depth in this environment naturally hostile to man. She lends herself to the film project as she welcomes her clients, with an economy of gestures and words, an impression reinforced by the mystery that surrounds her and the rare elements of her biography which suggest that she is not from the region, that she left the fertile north of Algeria to settle in the desert where she lives with a dog and a cat.
June 16, 2021
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