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The Kid from the Chaâba

A Feature film by Christophe Ruggia

Produced by Vertigo Productions

Release in France : 14/01/1998

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Actors (6)

Production and distribution (3)

Executive Producer :

Vertigo Productions

Film exports/foreign sales :

TF1 Studio (ex-TF1 International)

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Box office: Timeline

International releases (8)

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Omar is nine years old. He lives in the "chaâba" of his father, a small shanty town somewhere deep in the 1960s. The chaâba is made up of twenty-one immigrant families from El Ourica, a village in Algeria, who have fled to France to escape from poverty and war. The youngest of their children, born in this wooden planks and corrugated iron, will grow up to become the first wave of second-generation Algerians in France. Among the various life stories that each form part of the convoluted tale of this immigration, this film follows the path of Omar, caught between this little corner of Algeria and france.


Omar’s solitude…The absolute need to learn, a little bit more every day… Exclusion, as much endured as called for… The refuge found in books and then the escape into writing… All these feelings which run around in his mind once ran around in mine. What interested me above all in this loosely adapted story is the journey of initiation through books which enables Omar to view life and the people around him from a different slant — a journey which leads him to the day when he finds himself alone, face to face with himself, and the impossibility of communicating becomes so unbearable that he is left with no choice but to write.

Chistophe Ruggia

Full credits (13)

Executive Producers :

Aïssa Djabri, Farid Lahouassa, Manuel Munz

Screenwriter :

Christophe Ruggia

Sound Recordist :

Jean-Pierre Duret

Press Attaché (film) :

Thierry Lenouvel

Production Designer :

Richard Cahours de Virgile

Costume designers :

Elsa Rio, Florence Julienne

Still Photographer :

Albert Dagbert

Author of original work :

Azouz Begag

Director of Photography :

Dominique Chapuis

Production Manager :

Rodolphe Pélicier

Editor :

Nicole Dedieu

Music Composer :

Safy Boutella

Sales Agent :

Raphaël Berdugo

Technical details

Feature film

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Original French-language productions :


Nationality :

100% French

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French release :


Runtime :

1 h 36 min

Current status :


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Festival Selections (4)

Warsaw - French Film Festival - 1999

Warsaw - French Film Festival (Poland, 1999)


Films selected

Montreal World Film Festival - 1998

Montreal World Film Festival (Canada, 1998)


Out of Competition