Woman is Courage (France/Algeria, 2003, 58 min, Video)

By: Amine Rachedi

Screens: Sunday, October 19, 10am


This fascinating and emotionally gripping documentary by director Amine Rachedi narrates the story of Louisette Ighilahriz, a young Algerian woman who joined the national liberation movement after her father was seized by French colonial authorities in the mid 1950s. When Louisette and other Algerian resistance fighters were captured in 1957, they were imprisoned and tortured by French troops for several months, until Commander Richaud discovered their condition. As Louisette Ighilahriz leads director Rachedi to the places where these awful events took place, she comments on the difficulty of adapting to daily life after the revolution and on the state of Algeria today. Louisette’s was the famous case that brought the issue of torture to the forefront of public debate during the Algerian war of liberation. This is the first time she has talked about the ordeal publicly. Ighilahriz’s testimony is especially timely in the United States today. It proves that torture is not simply used to extract intelligence – the “ticking bomb scenario” – but to affect the civilian population as a whole and break its morale.

Director’s Bio:

Amine Rachedi is the director of three TV features - Rejoicing, Cinema – Cinema, and Away from Home - addressing socio-cultural subjects for the French and Maghrebi general public. In October 2000 he worked with star.com in the production and editing of various news pieces as well as a program on contemporary Arab poetry. In 1995 he was chief editor of Algerian Torments, a documentary on the Algerian civil war of the 1990.

Post-screening Discussion: Professor Patricia Lorcin, author of Colonial Identities: Stereotyping, Prejudice and Race in Colonial Algeria (I.B. Tauris, 1995), will be present for a post-screening discussion.