A film by Stéphane Couturier and Thomas Lallier
36', 2015 (Stéphane Couturier, Thomas Lallier, Mirage illimité)
To stand outside the Climat de France neighbourhood in Algiers is to behold the largest council estate in North Africa. Built in 1957 by the scandalous architect Fernand Pouillon to house 30,000 inhabitants, the estate is now home to more than twice that number. It is also one of the least accessible estates: Climat de France is like a city within a city, with its own geography of streets and zones where the forces of law and order are loathe to venture.
It took daring and perseverance for Stéphane Couturier to enter into its depths. His encounter with Hamid Rahiche, an inhabitant of the estate, was decisive.
It was then that Stéphane first came up with the idea of embarking upon a long-term project, subsequently journeying to Algiers several more times. He then enlisted the assistance of Thomas Lallier to work closely with him on the moving images themselves, the video.
Hamid takes center stage in Alger, Climat de France. He is a self-described spoiled, rich kid, a child of Climat de France and of Algerian independence. He represents the generation that is now becoming the symbol of youth caught between hope and disenchantment.
This experimental documentary is the work of an artist – a photographer – and a filmmaker and cinematographer; it is an artist’s film where the design and its duration are the products of a well-thought out approach that has been put to the test by the need to film a visual experience of the real that is intentionally exclusionary, taking advantage of the unseen that becomes a subtext.