Algeria, 1954. Former French Army soldier Daru (Viggo Mortensen) is attempting to lead a quiet life as a schoolteacher in a small mountainous town at the onset of the Algerian War of Independence. But when he is tasked with transporting an Algerian dissident (Reda Kateb) to a nearby city to stand trial, Daru finds his peaceful existence disrupted by the ensuing chaos that surrounds his village.
Grounded by Mortensen’s fiercely understated French-language performance, a score by neo-Western masters Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, and the beautifully stark backdrop of Algeria’s mountain ranges, director David Oelhoffen transplants a classic western tale into an unstable warzone to tell the story of one man’s sense of personal duty in light of the realities of the world around him. —Genna Terranova
About the Director(s)
Born in France, David Oelhoffen has directed the short films Le mur, Big Bang, En mon absence, Echafaudages, and Sous le bleu, and the feature In Your Wake.
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