Archive of films War without Images / Guerre sans images

Switzerland / France
2002, 90 min

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Year: 2003

Algerian filmmaker Mohammed Soudani returns to his native country after thirty years with photographer Michael von Graffenried, who documented the barbarity of Algerian life during the 1990s. Together they seek out the people in Graffenried’s portraits in order to place both subject and image in context.


A documentary film recording two returns to Algeria. Director Mohammed Soudani returns to his native country for the first time in thirty years. At the same time, photographer Michael von Graffenried returns to the places where, in 1991-2000, he took pictures of the faces of local inhabitants without their knowledge. The director accompanies the photographer as he tries to find the people whose portraits he “stole”. The film is a testimony to these strange encounters, and it also offers fresh images of contemporary Algeria. The photographs serve as pretexts for these encounters which encourage reminiscences on the recent history of a country besieged by terrorism. Soudani’s film records a pilgrimage, tracing a path from the photograph to the fate of the person it portrays.

About the director

Mohammed Soudani (b. 1949, El-Asnam, Algeria) worked as a cameraman for Algerian television in 1970-71, he then moved to Paris where he studied at the famous IDHEC film school (Institut des Hautes Ecoles Cinématographiques). He stood behind the camera while working for Polivideo SA, as well as during the period he spent working in the USA. He has been a film director since 1987 and he also works for Swiss television. Select filmography (feature-length documentaries): Waalo Fendo (1997), Les diseurs d’histoires (1998), War without images (2002).


Amka Films Productions SA
Via Sole 2, CH - 6942, Savosa
Tel: +41 91 967 4076
Fax: +41 91 967 2172

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Director: Mohammed Soudani
Screenplay: Mohammed Soudani, Michael von Graffenried
Dir. of Photography: Paul Nicol, Mohammed Soudani, Michael von Graffenried
Music: Giovanni Venosta
Editor: Jacopo Quadri
Producer: Tiziana Soudani
Production: Amka Films Productions SA
Contact: Amka Films Productions SA


Mohammed Soudani

Francine Brücher


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