I've been blogging about the film El Gusto ever since I met the director, Safinez Bousbia, in Essaouira in November 2007. The film was released in France, finally, a little less than a year ago. Elaine Sciolino gave the film, and the tour of the El Gusto orchestra, a very nice plug in the New York Times on Friday. The film screened at the 5th Panorama of the European Film festival in Cairo on October 8, and given that the film is about the reunion of Algerian Muslim and Jewish chaabi musicians, I'm quite impressed. Hani Mustafa gave the film a nice review in alahram.online. One thing I learned from Mustafa's review is about the 1995 Tunisian film, Habiba M'sika, a documentary about a Tunisian-Jewish singer of the same name.
I've not yet seen El Gusto myself, and who knows when I'll have the chance to. In the meantime, the album El Gusto is terrific -- but seemingly only available in the US as a download.
And here's the trailer for the film. Let's all cross our fingers that both the Orchestra and the film will be touring extensively in the US, and soon. And let's play for El Gusto's pianist, Maurice El Medioni, who was hospitalized with a stroke in August.