Fiche Film
LONG Métrage | 2012
Zabana !
Saïd Ould Khelifa
Titre anglais : Zabana!
Pays concerné : Algérie
Réalisateur(s) : Saïd Ould Khelifa
Avec : Saïd Ould Khelifa, Abel Jafri, Khaled Benaïssa, Yacine Laloui, Mustapha Orif, Imad Benchenni, Agence Algerienne pour le Rayonnement Culturel AARC
Durée : 107
Genre : guerre
Type : biopic


19 Juin 1956: Ahmed Zabana, premier militant algérien guillotiné.
De 1956 à 1962: 222 militants algériens furent passés sous la guillotine.

Le film relate les derniers moments du premier militant algérien, Ahmed Zabana, guillotiné en juin 1956.

15 février 1956: Le gouvernement vote l’usage de la guillotine contre les nationalistes algériens, condamnés à la peine capitale. François Mitterrand est ministre de la Justice.

19 juin 1956: Ahmed Zabana, trente ans, est exécuté à l’aube à Alger. La lame s’arrêtera deux fois, avant de décapiter, à la troisième tentative, celui qui deviendra le premier guillotiné de la Guerre d’Algérie.

Un film de Saïd Ould-Khelifa

2012, Algérie, Fiction drame historique, Biopic, 1h50 / Scope / Dolby S.R.D./ Arabe – Français VOSTF

Imad Benchenni, Nicolas Pignon, Khaled Benaïssa, Laurent Gernigon et la Participation exceptionnelle de Anne Richard

Imad Benchenni (rôle : Ahmed Zabana)
Nicolas Pignon (rôle : directeur Casabianca)
Khaled Benaïssa (rôle : Ali Zaâmoum)
Brahim Djabbalah (rôle : Stambouli)
Abel Jafri (rôle : Abdelkader Ferradj)
Laurent Gernigon (rôle : le bourreau)
Patrick Dross (rôle : officier Martin)
Yves Buchin (rôle : Francois Braun)

avec la Participation exceptionnelle de Anne Richard (rôle : Mireille Braun)

réalisation : Said Ould Khelifa
Scénario : Azzeddine Mihoubi
Image : Marc Koninckx, (afc, sbc)
Montage : Jean Dubreuil
Son : Franck Flies, Eric Tisserand
Musique : Michel Wintsch
Création décor: Ramdhane Kacer
Chef décorateur: Mustapha TIgroudja
Création décor: ramdhane Kacer

Producteur : Yacine Laloui
Production : Laith Media
Coproducteur : Aarc

AARC – Agence Algérienne pour le Rayonnement Culturel
1, rue Ahmed Laffer Lotissement Zadek Ben Aknoun-Alger.
Tél : +213 (0)21 945 769
Fax : +213 (0)21 945 770
e-mails : [email protected] / [email protected]

Sortie nationale en salles (Algérie), prévue pour la mi-octobre 2012.

2012 | Festival international de Toronto, Canada, Sept 2012.
* Sélection – Contemporary World Cinema

2012 | 65e édition du Festival de Cannes, France
* Pavillon algérien


An impassioned, meticulously researched account of the short life of Algerian freedom fighter Ahmed Zabana, whose execution in 1956 by French colonial authorities ignited the « Battle of Algiers » – and the crucial phase of Algeria’s struggle for independence.

A film by Saïd Ould-Khelifa

2012, Algeria, Drama, biopic, 107 minutes, Arabic/French

Programmer’s Note (TIFF 2012, Canada

On the morning of May 19, 1956, thirty-year-old Ahmed Zabana, an Algerian militant associated with the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN), was executed in Algiers by the French colonial administration as an example and a warning to other freedom fighters. Dragged into the prison courtyard, Zabana had his hands tied and was forced to kneel and lodge his neck inside the guillotine. Twice, the blade stopped in mid-descent, until the third attempt took his life. Zabana’s execution – the first of many that day – galvanized the capital city and made Zabana into a national hero. Six months later, the Battle of Algiers erupted, and the country was launched onto the path that would eventually see Algeria throw off its colonial yoke.

Released in the year that marks the fiftieth anniversary of Algeria’s independence, Zabana! is a tribute to one of the earliest heroes of the struggle for liberation. Writer Azzedine Mihoubi interviewed Zabana’s relatives and close friends, and conducted extensive archival research in Algeria and France to craft this exactingly detailed account of the early days of the FLN. Opening with a thrilling restaging of the assault on the Oran post office in 1949 – the annunciating event of the decade-plus struggle to come – Zabana! pays homage to a number of Algerian national heroes rarely represented on screen (Aït Ahmed, Ahmed Ben Bella, Souïdani Boudjemaâ and Bakhti Nemiche, to cite only a few) and brings a documentarylike precision to its recreations of the court trials and the deliberations of the colonial magistrate commission, making public these little-known but vitally important chapters in the history of France’s colonial rule.

The heart of the film lies with Zabana himself, as embodied by Imad Benchenni. Steering clear of didacticism or simplistic hero-worship, Mihoubi and director Saïd Ould-Khelifa present a Zabana who is at once fragile and steadfast, driven by the basic human impulse to fight for both his own dignity and that of his people. In the scenes between Zabana and his cellmate Ali Zaâmoum (Khaled Benaïssa), Mihoubi and Ould-Khelifa present an incisive glimpse of some of the darker chapters of the liberation struggle – especially the violent conflicts between the different militant groups that sought to assume leadership over the cause. Passionate and inspirational, Zabana! is an invaluable account of an historic struggle, and a long overdue treatment to an unsung national hero.

Rasha Salti (TIFF – Toronto International Film Festival 2012)

Director: Saïd Ould-Khelifa
Country: Algeria
Year: 2012
Language: Arabic, French
Runtime: 107 minutes
Rating: PG

Producer: Yacine Laloui
Production Company: Laith Media
Principal Cast: Imad Benchenni (Ahmed Zabana), Nicolas Pignon, Khaled Benaïssa (Ali Zaâmoum), Laurent Gernigon, Abdelkader Djeriou

Screenplay: Azzedine Mihoubi
Cinematographer: Marc Koninckx
Editor: Jean Dubreuil
Sound: Franck Flies
Prod. Designer: Ramdan Kacer
Int. Sales Agent: Wide

Imad Benchenni (Ahmed Zabana)
Nicolas Pignon (director Casabianca)
Khaled Benaïssa (Ali Zaâmoum, Zabana’s cellmate)
Brahim Djabbalah (Stambouli)
Abel Jafri (Abdelkader Ferradj)
Laurent Gernigon (the executioner)
Patrick Dross (officer Martin)
Yves Buchin (Francois Braun)

Tags: Drama | History | War | Human Rights | Arabic