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The Olive Trees of Justice
(Les oliviers de la justice)

Directed by James Blue.
With Pierre Prothon, Jean Pélégri, Marie Decaître.
France/Algeria, 1962, DCP, black & white, 81 min.
French with English subtitles.
DCP source: Kino Lorber

Adapted from the largely autobiographical novel by Jean Pélégri, who also stars as one of the film's main characters (after playing the policeman in Bresson's Pickpocket), James Blue's film is a drama clandestinely shot on location in Algiers and the surrounding countryside at the height of the Algerian War. Inspired by Italian neorealism, it relies on striking cinematography while offering a unique testimony on a situation of violent historical crisis, documented from the point of view of everyday life. For his first feature and only fiction film, Blue’s extreme naturalism was rewarded with a ban in France for several years.

PRECEDED BY

  • Paris at Dawn (Paris à l’aube)

    Directed by James Blue and Johan van der Keuken.
    Netherlands, 1957, DCP, color, 9 min.
    No dialogue.
    DCP source: EYE Film

Co-directed by the future great Dutch documentary filmmaker Johan van der Keuken and the American James Blue, both students of the Parisian film school IDHEC, this visual poem is a study of form, movement and light that shows a tremendous freedom, as well as a certain humor. These two qualities are further enhanced by the score by jazzman Derry Hall, who was also a student at IDHEC.

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