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by World Music Network April 05, 2013


'El Gusto' On Cinema - Bird Eye View Film Festival: 7 April

Celebrating Arab women film-makers, the festival will screen 'El Gusto', on 7 April, at 4pm, at Barbican Centre.

For those who missed  the previous London' screening, during Film Africa festival, 'El Gusto'  is a documentary film portraying the amazing story of El Gusto Orchestra. Formed by Jewish and Muslim musicians who studied together, they became famous as the 'Rat Pack' of Algiers, in the 1950s. During that time, chaabi music was at the heart and soul of cosmopolitan Algiers before the War of Independence. At the height of their fame, the Algerian War of Independence began; and Jews and Muslims were no longer allowed to work together. The music stopped and friendships were forced apart.

Irish - Algerian director Safinez Bousbia was visiting Algiers when she met a craftsman who once played with the El Gusto Orchestra. Since then, she decided to track down every surviving member of the orchestra to perform once again, for an extraordinary concert, half a century later. 

Through extensive interviews, Safinez Bousbia documents on the music made by both Muslim and Jewish communities before and after the Algerian revolution. This spirited documentary celebrates music’s power to transcend national, social and religious boundaries.

'An Algerian variation on The Buena Vista Social Club... feisty and passionate’ Screen International

Watch the trailer of 'El Gusto' here: 

For information on tickets, check Barbican website

El Gusto Orchestra of Algiers will perform at Barbican Hall on  3 June. Stay tuned for more information...