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Living in Paradise (1998)

Vivre au paradis (original title)
Set in France in 1961-1962 during the Algerian War, Living In Paradise is a thought-provoking examination of the lives of North African immigrants trying to find a place in the social system of Western Europe.



(novel), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Fadila Belkebla ...
Omar Bekhaled ...
Farida Rahouadj ...
Ramzi Brari ...
Mustapha Adouani ...
Sabrina Jellassi ...
Pierre Berriau ...
Le docteur
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:


1961-1962, the Algerian War is under way, Lakhdar, an immigrant construction worker, lives in the Nanterre shantytown which is 3km away from Paris. He can no longer bear living alone, far from his family in Southern Algeria. Once he succeeds in bringing them to France, he starts looking for a decent apartment. Just as he is about to reach his goal, at the cost of a betrayal, history strikes back at him... Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

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Drama | History | War


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Release Date:

17 March 1999 (France)  »

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Living in Paradise  »

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First movie about a forgotten part of French history
22 October 1999 | by (Paris, France) – See all my reviews

Recent French history is full of holes that moviemakers tend to fill slowly because of local taboos. Though there are now many movies about suburban life and the plight of the second and third generation immigrant families, little had been shown (and told) about their parents who came in France to work. `Living in paradise' tells the story of an Algerian man who lives in a shanty town in Nanterre in the 60's, a place very similar to Rio's favelas, for instance. He arranges for his family to come to France, but he now needs to find a decent place to live, because the `paradise' he gives them is more like a muddy hole. The movie is the chronicle of this family, from the dignified father, a man with principles that he'll have to bend, to the silent mother, who will discover that she has rights too. The characters are not embellished in any way. They are not typical movie victims : they rebel, and sometimes they fight mean, or shamelessly exploit each other, thus going down even further. Also, they are harassed by the police (it's the end of the Algeria war), and for the first time in the movies is shown the October 1961 massacre, where the police is rumored to have killed about 200 Algerian people in Paris by beating and drowning them after a demonstration. Like other movies of this kind, it suffers from a lack of storytelling and from a tendency to be elliptical (we'd like to know more about this family), but yet it's a clichéless, decisive movie about a forgotten part of French memory.

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