Harragas (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Harragas (2009)

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Movie Info

A handful of people looking for a new life find their journey has taken them to a dangerous place in this drama from filmmaker Merzak Allouache. Algerians use the word "harragas," which means "to burn," as slang for leaving the country illegally, the phrase coming from a common practice by refugees of burning their identification papers if they're about to be captured by authorities. Rachid (Nabil Asli) has been talking for years about leaving Algeria and running away to Europe, but it's not until his best friend Omar commits suicide that Rachid takes action. Rachid, his friend Nasser (Seddik Benyagoub) and Omar's sister Imene (Lamia Boussekine) pay Hassan (Okacha Touita) to ferry them across the water to nearby Spain in his boat. But while Hassan is happy to take their money, he makes it clear they travel at their own risk, and the trip takes a dangerous turn when they're intercepted by Mustapha (Samir El Hakim), a corrupt police officer who has his own ideas about dealing with illegal immigrants. Harrages was screened as part of the "Venice Days" program at the 2009 Venice International Film Festival.

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