Lensing will start in November in Algeria with Charles Burnett directing. His credits include “Killer of Sheep” and “Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation.”
El-Kader fought the French colonization while building the modern Algerian State and conveying a message of religious tolerance. He was exiled in 1848 after 15 years of fighting. El-Kader raised an army in Syria in 1860 to save the more than 12,000 Christians who were in danger of being massacred.
The screenplay is written by Algerian anthropologist Zaïm Khenchelaoui. Two versions will be shot: one in French and Arabic and the other in English.
“Due to what is happening in the world right now, I can’t see any movie that is more important to be made today,” Diaz said.
Khalida Toumi, the Algerian minister of culture, said, “The Emir Abd el-Kader’s story is the foundation of the story of modern Algeria as a State, a nation and a society. The same way his story is the foundation of humanity’s fight for a less cynical, more just and more tolerant world, that is respectful of others.”