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The Citadel (1988)

El kalaa (original title)
| Drama | 1988 (France)
In a small village in rural Algeria, the "village idiot" is madly in love with a married woman. His voyeurism and antics bring shame on his father, who guarantees that his son will be ... See full summary »


Mohamed Chouikh


Mohamed Chouikh
3 wins. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Djillali Ain-Tedeles Djillali Ain-Tedeles ... Sidi
Yamina Bachir Yamina Bachir ... (as Yamina Chouikh)
Mohamed Baki Mohamed Baki
Khaled Barkat Khaled Barkat ... Kaddour
Fatima Belhadj Fatima Belhadj ... Nedjma
Djillali Benabdelhalim Djillali Benabdelhalim
Mohamed Bouamari Mohamed Bouamari
Esmaa Boubekeur Esmaa Boubekeur
Karima Chouikh Karima Chouikh
Cheikh El Miloud Cheikh El Miloud
Abed Ferahlia Abed Ferahlia
Fatima Zohra Guelli Fatima Zohra Guelli ... (as Fatima-Zohra Guelli)
Abdelhamid Habati Abdelhamid Habati
Mohamed Haimour Mohamed Haimour
Wardia Hamtouche Wardia Hamtouche ... Zoubida (as Oirdia)


In a small village in rural Algeria, the "village idiot" is madly in love with a married woman. His voyeurism and antics bring shame on his father, who guarantees that his son will be married that same day, or his four wives will be repudiated.

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Release Date:

1988 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Citadel See more »

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Did You Know?


Ya Habibi
(extract from Alf Lailah Wa Lailah)
Performed by Om Koultoum
Written by Morsi Jamel Aziz
Composed by Baligh Hamdy
See more »

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User Reviews

An unexpected Algerian tearjerker.
17 August 2004 | by spacemuse1See all my reviews

Village attitudes, the male-female divide, polygamy, hypocrisy and human cruelty all colour this tale of a search for love in the desert. Kadour is a rich yet naive young man hoping for the respectable and happy marriage that is expected of him but is punished at every turn. A critical look at the Honour and polygamy system in nomadic cultures where both men and women are victims.

In a culture where the opposite sexes are only united in marriage, differences not tolerated and where status and village gossip determine one's fate, tragedy is inevitable.

In some ways this is comparable to Safar e Ghandahar - Kandahar (2001), it challenges our preconceived notions of Arabic cultures and to some extent justifies them: but this a story that could happen anywhere where traditions are followed religiously and a community is mainly preoccupied with itself.

This is one of the very few films I have seen that made me cry.

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