13494ABOU LEILA banner


Year 2019
Runtime 139 mins
Language Arabic
Subtitles English Subtitles
Canadian Premiere

A captivating film where two police officers’ hunt for a terrorist leads them into a nightmarish labyrinth desert.

1994, Algeria. As the Algerian civil war rages on, two police officers and childhood friends, S. (Slimane Benouari) and Lotfi (Lyès Salem) leave the city and travel towards the Sahara desert in the search for Abou Leila, a ruthless terrorist. The two get some clues and tips along the way and believe they are getting closer to Abou Leila. Their journey takes them deeper into the desert but also deeper into a nightmare that they weren’t prepared for.

Director Amin Sidi-Boumédiène has crafted an incredible film that uses the Algerian civil war as a springboard to examine long-lasting impact of violence and trauma on citizens. Aided by Kaname Onoyama’s stunning visuals, ABOU LEILA uses the vast beautiful desert as a worthy canvas to explore this nightmarish tale that is a blend of different genres evoking Lynchian, Western and metaphysical themes.

Written by Sachin Gandhi


Algeria France Qatar
Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival, Best European Fantastic Feature Film
Cannes International Critics' Week
Amin Sidi-Boumédiène
Fayçal Hammoum, Yacine Bouaziz, Louise Bellicaud, Claire Charles-Gervais
Amin Sidi-Boumédiène
Kanamé Onoyama
Amin Sidi-Boumédiène
Slimane Benouari, Lyes Salem, Azouz Abdelkader, Fouad Megiraga