About The Film
A must-see for world music lovers and students of Muslim-Jewish relations, EL GUSTO rediscovers the lost melodies of Chaabi, an infectious musical form that transcends national, social and religious boundaries.
Cross-pollinating Spanish rhythms with Arabic sounds, this bastardized meld of mandolins and violins, once considered suitable only for the lower class, became popularized in the old Casbah of Algiers. When the 1954 Algerian Revolution tore apart their egalitarian neighborhoods, the orchestra of Jews and Muslims (called “El Gusto,” meaning “the Good Mood”) fell silent and the players lost touch with one another. Nearly a half century later, native Algerian filmmaker Safinez Bousbia stumbled upon their story and set out to bring together the aging but still spry band mates – now between the ages of 70 and 100 years old – for an extraordinary reunion concert that in turn sparked a Chaabi revival.
Echoing The Buena Vista Social Club, this heartwarming film is sure to elicit tears and cheers as it weaves a mosaic of Algerian history, multiculturalism and effervescent music.
Film DetailsDirector: Safinez Bousbia
Country: Algeria, France, Ireland, United Arab Emirates
Language: Arabic, French with subtitles
Running Time: 88 min.
Subjects: Arts & Culture, Musical, Muslim