In this seminal documentary, a triptych of stories spells out the painful fate of two generations of Maghrebi immigration to France. First we meet the men who left North Africa to forge their way in the paradise of France, only to discover that their paradise is one built of mud and tin roofs; then, the lives of the women who fared little better when they came to join their husbands struggling in this sad poverty. Finally come the stories of the children whose identity is blurred and forgotten as the pervasive French culture absorbs their Arab heritage.
Born in France to Algerian parents in 1957, Yamina Benguigui is a writer and filmmaker who has received a number of prestigious national awards in France, such as the Legion of Honor and the National Order of Merit. She has been involved in documentary cinema since 1994, and was among the first French directors and producers of Algerian descent. Her other films include Women of Islam (Femmes d’Islam, 1999), The Perfumed Garden (Le Jardin parfumé, 2001) and The Glass Ceiling (Le Plafond de verre, 2005). In 2001, she directed her first feature, Inch’allah dimanche, which earned her 27 awards worldwide. She is presently working on her second feature, tentatively titled Le Paradis? C’est complet!, and she was appointed to the French government’s Higher Council for Integration in 2006.
Writer: Yamina Benguigui
Producer: Canal +/Bandits
Cinematographer: Virginie Saint-Martin, Bakir Belaïdi
Editors: Lionel Bernard, Nadia Ben Rachid
Sound: Serge Richard