Screened as part of NZIFF 2009

Masquerades 2008


Directed by Lyes Salem

In the Arab-world festival hit of 2008, a drunken boast has embarrassing repercussions. This Algerian wedding comedy delivers hilarious characters and trenchant social satire. “Classically executed farce.” — Variety

Algeria / France In Arabic and French with English subtitles
92 minutes CinemaScope



Isabelle Madelaine
Yacine Laloui


Lyes Salem
Nathalie Saugeon


Pierre Cottereau


Florence Ricard

Production designer

Jaoudet Gassouma

Costume designer

Hamida Hamzal


Nicolas Provost
Pierre André


Mathias Duplessy


Lyes Salem (Mounir)
Sarah Reguieg (Rym)
Mohamed Bouchaib (Khliffa)
Rym Takoucht (Habiba)
Merouane Zmirli (Amine)
Mourad Khen (Redouane Lamouchi)


Tribeca, Sydney 2009


This Algerian wedding farce delivers sharp character comedy and trenchant social satire. Writer/director Lyes Salem plays the status-hungry Mounir who is nettled by village tittering about his attractive younger sister Rym’s narcolepsy. He shows them who’s top dog with a fantastic pack of lies about her engagement to a European business mogul. Soon they are all kow towing and offering Mounir bribes. Rym’s clandestine liaison with his best friend renders the inevitable truth even more inconvenient than Mounir realises. — BG

“There is something Borat-like in the joyous enthusiasm with which he flaunts his braggadocio. If the men’s values are skewed by powerlessness, the women come off as flat-out magnificent. It may not be pc to make fun of narcolepsy, but when servicing the slapstick requirements of thoughtful – even socially conscious – comedy, the joke has much less to do with real illness than with classically executed farce.” — Ronnie Scheib, Variety