Based on Albert Camus’ The Guest, Loin des hommes illustrates the existential crisis of a pied-noir schoolteacher (Mortensen) charged with delivering local murderer Mohamed (Kateb) into justice. Worlds collide as Muslim and Christian learn to co-exist in a school on the plateau. With lens-flared cinematography and a Nick Cave score, Oelhoffen’s film is an atmospheric adaptation that captures the nuance of the Algerian conflict, while expounding Camus’ philosophy of choice and rebellion, bound together by Mortensen and Kateb’s muscular but delicate performances.
Loin des homes | Directed by David Oelhoffen (France 2014) with Viggo Mortensen, Reda Kateb. Starts July 9
Originally published in issue #140, July/August 2015.