The film, which briefly traces Lounes's journey, begins with what is a
nightmare for the entire Kabylia region: the assassination of the singer on Thursday, June 25, 1998 on the road to At-Dwala. With poignant images, the director went over the circumstances of the tragedy and the pain it caused to thousands who have flocked to Tawrirt Musa for Lounes's funeral. With a clear commentary by Abderrazak Larbi Cherif, the images recall the anger expressed by the people of Kabylia, the international indignation and media coverage of the event. The film continues with footage on the singer's itinerary focusing on his childhood, his artistic career, his compositions and his inspirations.
To Yami Tahar, "Lounes was not a typical singer". He was a simple but complex individual, rough and affectionate, tender and firm at the same time. He was a generous man who was moulded by life's experiences. In artistic terms, undoubtedly, he was a virtuoso. He had a unique, gravelly and enchanting voice. His lyrics and his music are masterpieces. " In the second part of the film, the director made the connection between Matoub's fight and the events that shook Kabylia in 2001. The director explains that "April 80, the Black Spring, and between the two, the assassination of Lounes, are closely related events. The identity claim and the struggle for democratic freedoms are the foundation of this ongoing struggle shared by Berber activists."
The film leads us to see in Lounes Matoub an outstanding artist, who is now known and recognized. He is adored by his fans and honored beyond the borders of his country, as in France, where streets and squares in cities are given his name. "This recognition puts Matoub in the tradition of the great men of our world. His name is associated with courage and selflessness. Even dead, he is still living in the heart of his people, " says the director.
In the debate, members of the audience recalled the popularity of Matoub, his commitment, and of course his assassination, the findings of the investigation and numerous litigation. Malika Matoub, Lounes's sister, present in the room, spoke about the personality of the "rebel" and placed great emphasis on the protection of artistic work, especially with the urgency of preserving the many documentary records of the singer. An immediate response from Ms. Dominque Voynet, the mayor of Montreuil, who attended the screening with two deputies of the city: "I recognize in Matoub a great activist of the universal dimension, and I promise you, she said at Malika, to arrange a meeting with the Minister of Culture during his next visit to our town. "Although very short, the film has the merit to trace briefly the life and work of this exceptional singer."
Tahar Yami realizes that 26 minutes "is not enough to tell the life of this great person. My goal is not to be exhaustive, but to deliver a powerful message with a short film. I think I said what needed to be said and especially made a film that promotes Matoub Lounes's fight, hoping in the future to create a documentary that will cover in detail the life and journey of this artist."
Translated from French by HL