A personal movie, “For My Country” is based on the life of Hami, whose brother tragically died in a French military school during a hazing rite.
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Produced by Mizar Films, the searing drama tells the story of Aissa, a brilliant young officer of Algerian origin who dies during a fresher initiation ritual at the prestigious French military academy of Saint-Cyr. Refusing to take responsibility for his death, the French army insists to have Aissa buried in the Muslim plot of a suburban cemetery instead of the military one. Appalled by the obvious discrimination, Aissa’s older brother, Ismael, brings the family together to reclaim justice for Aissa.
Hami wrote in his director’s statement that he grew up feeling “downgraded socially” because he was “Arab, Muslim and socially disadvantaged,” which he said are “three reasons to inspire resentment rather than exaltation” in France. The helmer explained that his family came to France from Algeria in 1991 , “fleeing the civil war and the Islamists.” In spite of many challenges, his brother “rejected the traditional traps of the banlieue, or rather those caricatures (perpetrated by) the media.”
Hami said his film also shows divisions within the army, and highlights the integrity and courage of some people, such as the general director of Saint-Cyr who “was deeply wounded by the insult to my brother and ready to do anything to have his values recognized.”
The filmmaker pointed that his film tells a “deeply personal and human story from the inside, an Arab Muslim family and a French one, too.”
“For My Country” is headlined by rising French star Karim Leklou who was nominated at the Cesar Awards for his performance in “The Stronghold” in 2020, and Shaïne Boumedine (“Les Sauvages”).
Hami previously directed “Orchestra Class” which played at Venice in 2017. MK2 Films handles international sales on “For My Country.”
Watch a clip for the film below:
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