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The Ark of the Desert (1997)

L'arche du désert (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 28 January 1998 (France)
Amin and Myriam are secretly in love. Their families are rivals and when their relationship is discovered, conflict is inevitable. In the quiet atmosphere of the palm groves, the two ... See full summary »


Mohamed Chouikh


Djamila Benfrehat (script), Mohamed Chouikh
4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Hacen Abdou Hacen Abdou ... Amin
Messaouda Adami Messaouda Adami ... Houria du Ksar
Shyraz Aliane Shyraz Aliane ... Cousin
Smain Allaoi Smain Allaoi
Myriam Aouffen Myriam Aouffen ... Myriam
Athmane Athmane ... Mother
Abdelkader Belmokadem Abdelkader Belmokadem ... Wise Omar
Abdelkrime Bencheikh Abdelkrime Bencheikh ... Amin's brother
Ali Bensaïb Ali Bensaïb ... El Moutanabi
Abdelwahabe Boudoya Abdelwahabe Boudoya ... Amin's friend
Mustapha Boudoya Mustapha Boudoya ... Amin's friend
Bahous Bouhafs Bahous Bouhafs ... Beggar
Abdelrahim Bouzine Abdelrahim Bouzine ... Musician
Amin Chouikh Amin Chouikh ... Child
Rachid Dahmane Rachid Dahmane


Amin and Myriam are secretly in love. Their families are rivals and when their relationship is discovered, conflict is inevitable. In the quiet atmosphere of the palm groves, the two communities have long nurtured the seeds of discord and hatred. The persecution is the first signal of inevitable evil. From inside the cave where they have taken refuge, the two young people hear the cries of a senseless murderous raid. A universal metaphor to denounce the horror of all extremist violence, THE DESERT ARK is a splendid and terrifying metaphor for a burning contemporary reality.

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Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 January 1998 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ark of the Desert See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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User Reviews

The Lives of Others
4 April 2013 | by rstout3526See all my reviews

L'ARCHE DU DESERT or The Desert Ark uses the biblical Noah's Ark as a metaphor against the warring tribes, disputes, family honour, religious dictates and traditional factions apparent in the Muslim desert communities of Algeria. A dispute arises between a nomadic tribe and the townsfolk over two lovers, each from different tribes.

The girl has been promised in an arranged marriage to another but falls instead for another boy. Family honour must be satisfied. The narrative at times is difficult to follow. Some of the characters are played tongue in cheek. The director attempts to show the perspective from all sides and express the futility of such ancient customs in a modern age. At best the film gives an inside look on a hidden society - the Muslim faithful against the heathen Tuaregs, each having their own views on how society is structured and the law upheld. In what seems to be a convoluted and fractured narrative throughout, the closing scene somehow brings all the viewers questions to a conclusion. Beautiful desert landscapes and colourful backdrops make this well worth viewing.

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