A Female Cabby In Sidi Bel-abbes

Belkacem Hadjadj

Algeria/Belgium 2000, 52 min.

Any chance you get to see this film, take it. The sad fact is that it’s unlikely you’ll be overrun with offers to view contemporary Algerian docs on a screen near you – unless you’re in Belgium perhaps: A Female Cabby in Sidi Bel-Abbes is an Algerian/Belgian co-production. The film is a joy to watch, but the screening leaves a bitter taste in the mouth as you reflect on how rare it is for us to see this kind of original insider story from countries outside the charmed circle of Europe and the USA. I hope Belkacem Hadjadj’s documentary makes it through the rich world curtain and sells widely to our broadcasters.

Soumicha is a professional cabby. If you want to get a sense of what it means to be the first and only woman cab driver in Sidi Bel-Abbes, just ask the woman who stood in the street and spontaneously applauded as Soumicha drove by.

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