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I Still Hide To Smoke

À mon âge je me cache encore pour fumer
France, Greece, Algeria 2016 / 90’
Fighting Through the Night It Maybe That Beauty Has Strengthened Our Resolve – Masao Adachi

A stiflingly hot film for a number of reasons. It takes place nearly entirely inside a city bath. It is set in the 1990s, when Algerian politics boiled over after the Islamists took power. Its prevailing atmosphere can be described as steam and cigarette smoke mixing with anger and joy, desperation and a lack of concern. And the story is very much a hot topic these days, as it deals with a world where the halls of power are filled with men who hate women. Rayhana breaks down cultural taboos not only by showing naked bodies, but by allowing her characters to talk openly about divorce, domestic violence, men who marry certified virgins, and the insane rule of tribal vengeance. At the heart of her debut film-based on the director's 2009 play that was staged in Paris-are the experiences of women whom Rayhana knows personally. Afraid to take part in the controversial project (the bath scenes were filmed in Thessaloniki), there are no actresses in the film who actually live in Algeria. Instead, it features a number of women who had emigrated previously, and the leading role is played by Palestinian actress Hiam Abbas, who appeared in Paradise Now and Munich.

Małgorzata Sadowska


Thessaloniki Film Festival 2016 - Audience Award; Sharm El-Sheikh Arab&European Film Festival 2016 - Best Debut


Rayhana is a stage and film actress who, for many years, was associated with the Béjaïa Theater in Algiers, where she also worked as a writer and director. Forced to leave the country for political reasons, she settled in Paris in the late 1990s. In 2009, the Parisian Maison de Metallos staged her play, I Still Hide to Smoke, which was extremely popular. A year later, two fundamentalists attacked her in the street because of the play. The screen adaptation of the play marks Rayhana's film debut.


2016 Nadal kryję się z paleniem / À mon âge je me cache encore pour fumer / I Still Hide to Smoke

Cast & Crew

director Rayhana
screenplay Rayhana
cinematography Olympia Mytilinaiou, Mohamed Tayeb-Laggoune
editing Rayhana
music Anne-Sophie Versnaeyen
cast Hiam Abbass, Fadila Belkebla, Nadia Kaci, Nassima Benchicou, Sarah Layssac, Maymouna, Lina Soualem, Faroudja Amazit
producer Michèle Ray Gavras
production Arte France Cinema, Eurimages, Blonde, Battam Films
sales Films du Losange
language Arabic
colouration colour