The last passenger

Watch the video before reading the text.

Yesterday started the 63rd Cannes Festival during which the Algerian movie “Outside of the law” will finally be shown to the public; and we should then hear and read comments from people who would actually have seen it. The polemic around Rachid Bouchareb‘s work would then broaden or just stop (unlikely) depending on the movie’s content.

At the same time, another competition, for short movies, is jointly organised by Cannes Festival and the National Film Board of Canada. And I was delighted to hear that, out of 1600 candidate projects, an Algerian movie was selected in the 10 finalists list.
Le dernier passager “The last passenger”, which is the movie’s title, is the first of its director, Mounes Khammar. And despite its 7 minutes duration and being without dialogue, we could see a number of famous Algerian actors who helped deliver the movie’s message. The main character, portrayed by Mohamed Bouchaib (known from “Ness mlah City”, “El Fhama”, “Djemai Family” and “Masquerades“, but mistaken for a French on Wikipedia), decides to suicide, and “his soul [says Khammar] before disappearing for ever, comes back to pay a last visit to his impossible loves: the woman he loves and theatre where he worked as the man who did everything”.

I let you watch this short movie, click on Like (on YouTube because this is how the competing movies are rated) if you do like it, and reflect on the message it conveys. I am not sharing my understanding of this message so I wouldn’t influence you 🙂

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3 thoughts on “The last passenger

  1. MnarviDZ you spoilt a crucial moment in the movie by letting us know the main character is going to commit suicide! I feel robbed of an intense emotional moment as I will never know how it would have felt to be surprised by the young man taking a jump from the cliff!

    However, I liked the sequence of frames and of course the tune by one of my favourite singers (Fairuz). It managed to create a vague sense of sadness in me.

    My own interpretation of the message is that it is trying to depict how soul-destroying it is for a true artist at heart to live in modern day Algeria (the city looks like Algiers if am not mistaken). I felt that the young man represents an artist (eg. the photo with him playing the piano), he has lost everything (or rather never managed to have what he longed for: the girl he loves, expressing his artistic talents, respect and recognition). In death, he finds the freedom his soul had always longed for in life.

    • I didn’t say he was going to jump, but sorry algerianna, I edited the post.

      You are right, the story takes place in Algiers. And I like your interpretation. I found it interesting that his last action was a smile even though I felt he was well aware of his situation.
      Neither his “colleagues” nor the girl seemed to be missing him, and only his family did. May be the director wanted to say that it’s worth living for those who care about you than die for those you care about?

      I wondered what tune it was so thanks for giving the information.

      • Ah I haden’t thought of that MnarviDZ, because there were no indication in the movie that anyone other than his family was made aware of his suicide.

        But well spotted for the smile at the end. It is probably a significant detail, the dance and pirouettes also gave a sense of freedom and unrestrained élan. His performance/talent was appreciated better in his death. This is the fate of all artists it seems.

        And have you seen the old man standing on the building? He must be some other poor tormented soul who killed itself. I have no idea what he symbolizes par contre.

        PS: Why the title ‘The last passenger’ by the way?

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