Atlal, by Djamel Kerkar

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Atlal: A poetic discipline that involves facing the ruins and bringing one’s memory back to the surface and one’s memories from the visible to the invisible. Algeria, in the grip of terrorism, officially experienced the loss of over 200,000 lives between 1991 and 2002.


Djamel Kerkar

Following his graduation in economics, Djamel Kerkar studied cinema at ESAV Marrakech. Atlal, his first feature film was awarded the First Film Prize at FID Marseille 2016 where it also won 2 special mentions from the GNCR and the international online film critic.

« The word “Atlal” means ruins in Arabic. It’s also a practice in pre-Islamic poetry which consists of standing and facing ruins, contemplating them, to bring out of them recollections, a memory. Desert nomads started their often-improvised poems with this practice as the prelude to a poem. In this first silent part of the film, facing the ruins. There is something here that is tantamount to mourning. » D.K.

Pre Islamic Poetry, Imrou El Qais :

1- قَفَاَ نَبْكِ مِنْ ذِكُرَى حَبِيبٍ وَمَنْزِلِ بِسِقْطِ اللِّوَى بَيْنَ الدَّخُولِ فَحَوْ مَلِ
Stop to moan upon my lover’s dwelling remnants.
Which its trail remains between some places.
2- فَتُوِضحَ فَاْلِمقْرَاةِ لَمْ يَعْفُ رَسْمُهَا لِمَا نَسَجَتْهَا مِنْ جَنُوبٍ وَشَمْأَلِ
There my lover dwelling its remnants still witness.
However, north or south wind had swept them continuously.
3- كَأَنِّي غَدَاةَ الْبَيْنِ يَوْمَ تَحَمَّلُوا لَدَى سَمُراتِ الَحْيِّ نَاقِف حَنْظَلِ
I stood there bewildering beside acacia trees, which grow near her tribe.
As someone who tries to prick the bitter colocynth fruit to eat its pulp.
He will be neither cure nor die, moaning until dawn his lover departure. 


*FID Marseille – Premier Prix, Prix – Mention spéciale du jury GNCR, Prix – Mention spéciale Critique internationale



*Mar del Plata

*Rome MedFilm Festival


*Luxor African Film Festival


*Panorama des cinémas du Maghreb et Moyen-Orient


10 2 127790(1) 121948(1) 011804(1) P1030192



Ammi Lakhdar, Ammi Rabah Lakhdar, Abdou, Raouf Moundhir, Mohammed, Abdou


Production : Prolégomène – Jaber Debzi / Centrale Électrique – Narimane Mari, Olivier Boischot, Michel Haas

Image & Sound : Djamel Kerkar, Bilel Madi

Editing : Djamel Kerkar, Corentin Doucet

Audio mixing : Antoine Morin

Color grading : Pierre Sudre

Post production : Olivier Boischot

Thanks to : Djalila Kadi-Hanifi, Karim Moussaoui, Hassen Ferhani, Ahlem Bensaidani, Farid Belhoul, Debzi & Mesli families, Kerkar crew, Nadjib Guermache, Yacine Bouaziz, Mohamed Lakhdari, Bilel Lakhdari, Malek Lakhdari, Sidi Moussa’s Mayor.