Algeria, France 2008 – Director: Malek Bensmaïl – Original language: French, Arabic – Subtitles: French, English

Tucked away in the Aurès Mountains in the Algerian heartlands lies the small village of Ghassira. Here, in 1954, two teachers became the first civilian victims of the War of Independence. Henceforth this place would be known as the “Cradle of the Algerian Revolution.” Some 50 years later Malek Bensmail spent a year in Ghassira observing its inhabitants. He set up his camera in the local school and recorded its pupils learning about their past, interrogating their present and facing up to an uncertain future. As the seasons pass, the director uncovers, little by little, a complex picture of Algerian society. Fundamental questions of identity, culture and language are raised and the village’s children become emblematic of the state of a nation. What has the country achieved in fifty years of independence? What has changed and what will the coming years bring? From a village seeped in history Bensmail offers us an authentic, vibrant impression of contemporary Algeria - precisely filmed and deeply insightful.

English/Original Title: China is Still Far Away. Writer: Malek Bensmaïl. Camera: Lionel Yan Kerguistel, Bensmaïl Malek. Sound: Dana Farzanehpour. Editing: Mathieu Bretaud. Music: Camel Zekri. Production: Unlimited & Cirta film. Producer: Philippe Avril. Length: 120 min. International Sales: Doc and film International.