Hors la loi / Outside the Law

TitleHors la loi / Outside the Law
Publication TypeFilm
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsBouchareb, Rachid
Running Time2h 19m
Date Released22/09/2010
CountryFrance, Algier, Belgium
MediumEnglish subitles
Publication LanguageFrench, Arabic

Beginning with its controversial interpretation of the Setif massacre in 1945, in which French soldiers killed Algerians following riots and protests, Outside the Law, reveals how young Algerian men respond to colonialism. Three brothers who lost their father in the Setif massacre take different paths as they grow up under colonial French rule. Messaoud joins the French army fighting in Indochina; Abdelkader becomes a leader of the Algerian independence movement in France, and Saïd moves to Paris to make his fortune in the shady clubs and boxing halls of Pigalle. Gradually, their interconnecting destinies reunite them in the French capital, where freedom is a battle to be fought and won. The film was selected as one of the five nominees for Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards, having been submitted by Algeria.


Jamel Debbouze

Roschdy Zem

Sami Bouajila

Chafia Boudraa

Bernard Blancan

Sabrina Seyvecou

Assaad Bouab

Thibault de Montalembert

Samir Guesmi

Jean-Pierre Lorit


Producer: Jean Bréhat

Coproducers: Olivier Dubois, Adrian Politowski et Gilles Waterkeyn

Director: Rachid Bouchareb

Screenplay: Rachid Bouchareb, Olivier Lorelle

Photography: Christophe Beaucarne

Music: Armand Amar

Editing: Yannick Kergoat Delegate

Alternate TitleOutlaw
Full Text

This film was the subject of a vigorous polemic in France over artistic liberty versus historical truth. It has been criticized in varying degrees by French historians on the right and the left, and should not be taken to be 'history exactly as it happened.'

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