Ameur-ZaÃ¯mecheâ€™s debut is a sterling example of the banlieue film that first emerged as an important genre in French cinema in the 1990s. (French for â€œsuburb,â€ â€œbanlieueâ€ in this context refers to the Parisian working-class suburbs with largely immigrant and French-born Arab populations.) Although it abounds in incident, it largely eschews the overheated dramatics that made Matthieu Kassovitzâ€™ La haine (1995) such a success. Wesh Wesh was a truly independent production shot on DV with a cast of non-professionals. Ameur-ZaÃ¯meche stars as a young man who returns to his home in the housing projects after five years in prison and two in exile in Algeria. Wesh Wesh incorporates some oft-seen plot elements â€“ the ex-con looking to go straight, tensions between the police and housing-project residents â€“ in order to renew them with scrupulously detailed, impassioned realism.
Directed by Rabah Ameur-ZaÃ¯meche. With Rabah Ameur-ZaÃ¯meche, Ahmed Hammoudi, Brahim Ameur-ZaÃ¯meche
France 2001, 35mm, color, 83 min. French and Arabic with English subtitles