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Namibia Premiere: « Zabana ! » When the Guillotine Falls, and a Revolution Arises


Info   Entrance is 40,- N$


On the morning of May 19, 1956, thirty-year-old Ahmed Zabana, an Algerian militant associated with the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN), was executed in Algiers by the French colonial administration as an example and a warning to other freedom fighters. Dragged into the prison courtyard, Zabana had his hands tied and was forced to kneel and lodge his neck inside the guillotine. Twice, the blade stopped in mid-descent, until the third attempt took his life.

Zabana's execution - the first of many that day - galvanized the capital city and made Zabana into a national hero. Six months later, the Battle of Algiers erupted, and the country was launched onto the path that would eventually see Algeria throw off its colonial yoke.

The blade stopped twice, before it decapitated the Algerian revolutionary Ahmad Zabana in a sharp stroke. Ahmed Zabana was the first Algerian martyr to be executed by guillotine (June 1956); after the French government with Francois Mitterand as the minister of justice, approved its use.

After Zabana, 222 Algerians were executed in this way.

Zabana's execution formed part of the Battle of Algiers (as can also be seen in the open scene of the film with same title).

The execution was followed by a response campaign by the Algerian FLN that launched an entirely new phase of resistance to French colonialism in Algeria.
Barely 30-years-old, his martyrdom sparked the Algerian war that started six months after his execution.

An absolutely stunning and moving film on the power of both individual and collective will in resistance and liberation movements, with a strong focus on political imprisonment in anti-colonial struggle. This film is less of a history lesson or timeline of the Algerian War for Independence than it is a glimpse into the raw sacrifice that liberation often entails, for those we remember and those we do not.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNxhJz035-8

The film was the official entry from Algeria to the Oscars 2013, Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film.

Title: “Zabana!”
Country: Algeria
Year: 2012
Director : Said Ould Khelifa
Producer : Yacine Laloui
Screenplay: Azzedine Mihoubi
Cast:     Khaled Benaïssa, Imad Benchenni, Abdelkader Djeriou, Jean-Marie Galey, Laurent Gernigon, Corrado Invernizzi, Nicolas Pignon, Sébastien Tavel
Amazigh, Arabic and French dialogue with English subtitles / Colour /
107 mins.

Contact:  Hans-Christian Mahnke, director & chairperson of the board, 0855630949, africavenir.whk(at)googlemail.com

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