In Mansourah You Separated Us
Denmark, Algeria, France
To deny parts of one’s own history is a well-known act in creating a national identity. The degree of this negation is a truthful indicator of the democratic health and capacities for cultural tolerance in societies. In France, the Algerian War of Independence remains, even today, one of the black holes of its historical recognition. In light of this, each contribution bringing up this theme already has intrinsic value, and a festival like Nyon’s Vision du Réel, which each year strengthens its position in the international documentary landscape, can only be congratulated for screening films dealing with such topics.
The young filmmaker Dorothée-Myriam Kellou spent her life in Nancy with a father who never spoke about his past. He is an example of those who amplify the official silence, even those personally confronted with horrific facts. One day, however, he gave his daughter a look at some documents from his childhood. Asking about the reasons for the silence, even from first-hand witnesses, is one of the leading directions of In Mansourah you separated us. The first answer given is simple insistent fear. The father confessed to his daughter that the statue raised to Sergeant Blandan, one of the French war heroes in Algeria, frightens him every day on his early-morning walk to his workplace.
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