Outside the Law

Synopsis: After losing their family home in Algeria, three brothers and their mother are scattered across the globe. Messaoud joins the French army fighting in Indochina; Abdelkader becomes a leader of the Algerian independence movement in France and Saïd moves to Paris to make his fortune in the shady clubs and boxing halls of Pigalle. Gradually, their interconnecting destinies reunite them in the French capital, where freedom is a battle to be fought and won.
Genre: Crime, Drama, War
Director(s): Rachid Bouchareb
Production: Independent Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
138 min


Yes, Messaoud?

-The gendarmes!


Oh, my God...

Said, stay close to me.

Good morning.

I have a court order.

This land belongs to Mr.

Guerini, your neighbor.

-Mr Caid,

this earth, I inherited

it from my ancestors.

-Do you have a document of ownership?

-What document?

We've never had one.

-Without a document, there's nothing I can do.

You have to leave.


I was born on this land.

My father was born here.

My grandfather, my ancestors...

My children have grown up here!

-You have three days to leave.

-If I leave my land,

how should I feed my children?

-It's the law, I can't

do anything about it.

-Have they gone mad?

We're chasing a

piece of paper.

I will die and be buried here!

It's not fair!

It's a sin, what you're doing.

God damn you!

-Do not cry Mama,

we will return.

It's nothing.

Go help your father, Said. Go.

-School is over.


Leave school?

I am among the best students.

This is not fair.

-How should I pay for it?

Remember that this land is ours.

It saw you being born and grow up.


we hunt.

May God punish them.

Free Algeria!

Equal rights!

Free Algeria!

Equal rights!

-Come on forward.

-I have my match.

-Germany has lost.

We will win our freedom.

-Me, I earn my living.



the djellaba.

Come here, you.

Take good care,

and don't be afraid.

Listen carefully.

If you lose, you shall

not eat tonight.

-Halim! Halim!

-Equal Rights!


-Give this to me!

-Let go!

Take off your hand!

Don't do that! Stop!


-Open, open!

The door!

Let me in.

Hide this.


-Now, go back home.

And most importantly,


Is that clear?

Don't go out.

Save yourself!


Save yourself!

-Hands up!

-Get out. Go.


Come on!




Dad? Dad?

Get up, Dad.


No, Dad, don't die.


-They're dead.

May God rest their souls.

May he give me strength

and patience.

May he welcome them into

his vast paradise.

My dear Messaoud

I hope my letter

finds you alive.

I hope that this war in Indochina

will end soon.

Your brother Abdelkader

is in prison in France.

It has now been 8 years that

I haven't seen you.

Fortunately your brother,

Said, is always by my side.

This morning, we prayed

at the tomb of your father

and your sisters.

-What is it?

-My mother.

May God bless you,

my very dear son.

-Mr. Caid?

Mr. Caid.

-What are you doing here?

-I just came to say hello.

-How did you get in?

-I have a gift for you.

-What's this gift?


I've come to avenge my father

and my entire family.

Filthy dog.

Die, you filthy dog.

For everything you did.

Pack your things.


-We're going to France.

-I don't want to.

-We're at war.

They will kill us.

-If you think I am alive,

you're wrong.

I'm already dead.

They've killed us.


Listen carefully.

Abdelkader is in jail.

He's alone in France.

He needs help.

-And Messaoud?

-He will join us,

he's a soldier.

-In France?


God willing, we will

all return here

to our land,

in our country.

But not to this foxhole.

-I'll tell you...

when I'm sure to find my children,

I'll follow you anywhere.

-God will hear you.

-My brothers,

I bid you farewell.

They're taking me.

Greet Algeria.

Greet my country.

Long live Algeria!

-Come on.

In the name of the

French Republic,

I command the execution.

- The Vietnamese people

broke the chains

that had weighed on them

for a century

for their country to

be independent.


Don't fall asleep.

Don't sleep.

-Colonial France

is not invincible.

Don't give in to any illusions.

It's over, for your friend.

- The members of the

oppressed nations

must mobilise all their forces,

and be willing to sacrifice their

lives and their property

to wrest from the

colonial forces

their right to be


You, from African colonies,

take for example the

successful fight

of the Vietnamese people.

Your brothers,

your wives, your children

deserve justice

and freedom!

Fighters, don't be slaves

sacrificed by the colonisers


See our victory and

break your chain.

-Here it is.

Come in.

-Come on, Mom. Go in.

Thank you.

Listen, I have no

money for now...

As soon as I find work...

I'll pay you.

Take this watch as security.

It is expensive.

-It's good, it'll do.

-Don't worry, mom,

it's temporary.

Thank God.

It's better than nothing.

At least we have a roof.

My brother...

Where are you going?

To work for Renault.

They're hiring.

What do you say?


-Salaam aleikoum.


-May I sit down?


-What can one buy with this?

-With that?

You can buy a house...

and get married.

It can even buy you money.

You're new here?

-I'm from Setif.

-From Setif?

Welcome, my brother.

Watch your things.

Think about marriage.



Hey, sir!

What's it like to live here?

-You can be a slave for Renault.

-What do you do?


I'm different.

-Teach me.

-For a guy like you

that's a long way.

Forget it.

-Excuse me...

Nothing is too hard for me.

I can surprise you.

-Surprise me?

Come on.



-Are you okay?

-I thank God.

-Did you eat well?

Looks like you got thinner.

Don't worry about me.

-Listen closely

to what I have to say.

You didn't steal.

You didn't kill.

You're not a criminal.

You're in jail for your ideas.

You are a man.

-Everything has an end.

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Rachid Bouchareb

Rachid Bouchareb (born September 1, 1953) is an Algerian film director. From 1977 to 1983, he worked as an assistant director for France’s state television production company, Société française de production (S. F. P). Subsequently, he worked for broadcasters TF1 and Antenne 2. He formed a production company called 3B with his associate Jean Bréhat in 1988. Bouchareb began making short films in the 1980s. His featured film debut came in 1985 with Bâton Rouge. Since then his acclaimed films have included Poussières de vie (Dust of Life) (which received an Academy Award nomination in 1995 for Best Foreign Language Film in 1995); Little Senegal in 2001, as well as Two Men in Town in 2014 were both shown in the competition at the Berlin Film Festival; and Days of Glory, which received the Best Foreign Language Film nomination in 2006 and also won prizes at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. Bouchareb's films have a following amongst international cineastes. His film, Hors-la-loi, competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival in May. It was the Algerian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards and was one of the five final nominees. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Outside the Law" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 May 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/outside_the_law_15445>.

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