University of Pittsburgh
September 10, 2008

University of Pittsburgh to Present the Film Series Beur Is Beautiful: Maghrebi-French Filmmaking

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-As part of Pitt's film series, Beur Is Beautiful: Maghrebi-French Filmmaking, French films will be shown Sept. 26 through Oct. 30 in the University of Pittsburgh's Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland. Film screenings begin at 7 p.m. and are free to the public.

Beur is French slang for the descendants of North African immigrants living in France who have spent the majority of their youth in France's low-income housing project in the suburbs. While beur has been part of the European lexicon for more than 20 years, the term and the culture it describes remain largely unknown in the United States.

The series is sponsored by Pitt's Global Studies Program, European Studies Center, Consortium for Educational Resources on Islamic Studies, Less-Commonly-Taught Languages Center, and Department of French and Italian Languages and Literatures.

The film series schedule, including directors and summaries, follows:

Sept. 26

"Bled Number One", directed by Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, 2006.

Barely released from prison, Kamel is deported to his birthplace Algeria. This enforced exile allows him to observe a country split between a desire for modernity and the weight of ancient traditions.

Oct. 9

"Memories of October 17," directed by Faiza Guene and Bernard Richard, 2002.

On the evening of Oct. 17, 1961, the French police brutally repressed a peaceful demonstration supporting Algerian independence. This powerful film unearths the painful memories of witnesses at the demonstration.

"Memoire D'Immigres" (Part I), directed by Yamina Benguigui, 1997.

In this seminal documentary, a triptych of stories spells out the painful fate of two generations of Maghrebi immigration to France. Parts II and III of this film will be shown on Oct. 16.

Oct. 16

"Memoire D'Immigres" (Parts II and III), directed by Yamina Benguigui, 1997.

In this seminal documentary, a triptych of stories spells out the painful fate of two generations of Maghrebi immigration to France. Part I of this film will be shown Oct. 9.

Oct. 23

"Wesh Wesh Qu'est ce qui se Passe?" directed by Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, 2001.

A blend of documentary and fiction, this film reveals the everyday life of an immigrant family that is struggling to integrate into the 'Cite des Bosquets,' a low-income housing project in the Parisian suburbs.

Oct. 30

"Voisins, Voisines," directed by Malik Chibane, 2005.

A rapper is racing against time: He has just three days to write his lyrics; otherwise, he can say good-bye to his advance from the record company. He finally finds inspiration right on his doorstep-in the comic struggles of his neighbors in the Mozart Estate housing project-and sets the stage for a lively hip-hop fable.

For more information, contact Veronica Dristas at 412-624-2918 or dristas@pitt.edu.

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