Yema (Algeria: 2012)


Djamila Sahraoui

Cast list

Ouardia: Djamila Sahraoui
Le gardien: Samir Yahia
Ali: Ali Zarif


Producer: Antonin Dedet, Olivier Guerbois

Assistant Producer: Sophie Mauger

Cinematographer: Raphael O'Byrne

Film Editor: Catherine Gouze

First Assistant Director: Boris Vassallo

Production Manager: Ludovic Leiba

Supervising Sound Editor: Guillaume D'Ham

Foly Engineer/Sound Re-recording Mixer: Mathieu Langlet

Colorist: Alexandra Pocquet

Assistant Editor: Xavier Sirven

Translator: Jennifer Gay

Title Designer: Stephane Medez


Yema starts out with an elderly woman named Ouardia (played by Yema’s very own Djamila Sahraoui) draggin the lifeless body of her son home. She then proceeds to bury him only to be stopped by a one-armed man at gunpoint stating that only men are allowed to bury the dead. After a struggle, Ouardia proceeds to bury her son. The film then pans out to a civil war caused by Algeria’s government and fundamentalists. It is revealed that Ouardia’s son was killed by insurgents on the orders of his older brother Ali, who was also the one who sent the one-armed man to stop Ouardia from burying her son and has ordered him to keep her prisoner at her own home. The film takes an emotional rollercoaster as Ouardia tends to her garden as a way to rebuild her life.


Weissberg, Jay. ‘Yema’ Variety (online magazine)

Barlet, Oliver. Yema by Djamila Sahraoui (review). Black Camera, Volume 5, Number 1 (Fall 2013)

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