73rd edition | Update : 23.09.21 . 4:32 PM

Watch and discuss Rouge (Red Soil) with Farid Bentoumi

ROUGE (Red Soil) - Film's picture

ROUGE (Red Soil) - Film's picture © LES FILMS VELVET

Farid Bentoumi's second release after his comedy Good Luck Algeria. The French-Algerian director has made the Official Selection for the first time at Cannes 2020 with his film Rouge (Red Soil). An environmental thriller inspired by various true stories like that of a production plant in Gardanne that was dumping hazardous waste in the Mediterranean Sea, the film takes inspiration from this "red mud" health scandal and shines a light on the current environmental/economic dilemma. Out in cinemas in France 11 August.

Nour has just been hired as a nurse at the chemical plant where her dad, a worker's union representative and loyal employee, works. In the midst of the factory's health inspection, a journalist is carrying out an investigation on waste management. These two young women discover little by little that the factory, a pillar of the local economy, is hiding plenty of secrets...


Rouge (Red Soil) possesses a quality usually seen in American cinema, taking on a political or social issue and embodying these ideas through fiction. With a solid script and masterful direction, it brings up a debate that has been made even more relevant by the COVID crisis: health or work, "the end of the month or the end of the world", which is more important?

"I don't have the perfect solution. (...) We have simply opened up a debate that will occupy us for the next twenty or thirty years and that will have a deep impact on our society and way of life."

By showing the contrast between Nour, who sides with health and the environment, and her father, a union member who fears unemployment more than cancer, Rouge (Red Soil) highlights the complexity of this debate and invites viewers to seriously consider the questions that come up on screen alongside its cast; Zita Hanrot, Sami Bouajila, Céline Sallette and Olivier Gourmet.

RED SOIL by Farid Bentoumi

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