Venice Film Festival, In Competition

Algerian filmmaker Tariq Teguia follows up his static debut "Rome Rather Than You" with the even less engaging "Inland", 144 minutes of auteurist lethargy whose principal interest is its exotic cinematography of remote desert regions and a connoisseur's selection of African and North African music. Apart from a small coterie of fans who can search for hidden meaning in Nacer Medjkane's long tracking shots and the occasional references to national politics, most audiences will get more out of the soundtrack album than Teguia's tedious ouevre.

The first half, which is practically non-narrative, introduces the middle-aged Malek ( Abdelkader Affak), a disillusioned intellectual who once participated in heated cafe debates about Algerian politics and the country's lack of freedom. He is sent by a private company into the hinterlands to survey land. After 75 minutes of screentime, he finds an African girl in his trailer trying to get to Europe and, inexplicably, decides to abandon his job, drop everything and accompany her to the Moroccan border. Ending is downbeat, what else?

Production company: Neffa Films, Cine@
 Cast: Abdelkader Affak, Ines Ros Djakou, Ahmed Benaissa, Fethi Ghares, Kouider Medjahed, Djalila Kadi Hanifi.
Director: Tariq Teguia.
Screenwriters: Tariq Teguia, Yacine Teguia.
Director of photography: Nacer Medjkane.
Music: ina Djakouk, Christian Fennesz, Cheikha Djenia, Fela Kuti, Sonic Youth, Terry Riley, Bismillah Khan.
Editor: Rodolphe Molla, Andree Davanture.
144 minutes.