23 October 2015 | birthdaynoodle
Liberation, through the eyes of innocence
'Bloody Beans' is a minimalist, very loose reenactment of the Algerian War of Independence, performed mainly by children. Rather than retelling the history in specific detail, the narrative playfully describes social situations and events through a kind of dream logic. Director Narimane Mari, who is of French-Algerian origin, worked with a budget of only 7,500 (or under $10,000). But her bare bones approach to plot and production has a poetic, surreal quality that is generally absent in more elaborate large-budget films. The electronic music soundtrack provided by the French duo Zombie Zombie is fresh and adds another layer of texture. With the exception of a few adults (including the director herself), the cast is mostly composed of untrained children, who address one another quite naturally, with typically Algerian expressions and mannerisms. The camera observes these kids being kids, which is perhaps why CPH:DOX, one of Europe's most important documentary awards, gave 'Bloody Beans' its top prize (despite the fact that it actually tells a fictional story inspired by historic events). In any case, this is not your average film. If you're open to somewhat more experimental work, you may find it quite rewarding.