Georges Montero, the owner of an olive mill in Oran, is a "pied-noir" (Algerian-born Frenchman) who chose to remain in Algeria after its independence in 1962. More than 30 years later, Georges comes to France for the first time in his life for a cataract operation - just a civil war begins to take its bloody toll back home. Born in Franch colony, Montero is among those who always thought they could stand up to this young nation that rejected them. His surgeon, Tarek Timzert, ophthalmologist in a major Paris hospital, is a first-generation Franchman who has cut himself off from his Algerian roots. The contact between the "pied-noir" and the tradition-blind Arab forces Georges to make a decision between remaining in France or going home to Oran, at peace with himself but his own risk.
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I used the hand-held camera because I wanted to get closer to things and people, to be physically in their midst, to breath and move with the characters...The hand-held camera skipping among them was a sort of crystallization of the film's basic theme : the apprenticeship of uncertainty - Georges (the fiftyish "pied-noir") thinks he's living in a certain situation in Algeria, sure of what he wants and owns, but that's not the case. In the end, he's not even sure if he's going to go back to Algeria. The same goes for Tarek, the young surgeon of Arab origin. He thinks he's found a certain equilibrium and the fact of meeting Georges, the "pied-noir", an ageing franch-man born in Algeria who's "more Algerian than he is", throws him off balance. The hand-held camera mirrors the movements of someone seeking his way... (Dominique Cabrera)