Holy Days pictures a strange ballet of both human and non-human animals in a rural landscape. The film opens with a man digging his own grave, only to soon find solace in a mysterious companion.

Affect and emotion are doled out in no small quantity, conveyed through not only the actors' movements and interactions, but also through motions, gestures and performances by animals whom we might consider their counterparts. There is a genuine sense of ease, relaxation and relief that permeates the film through the actors' negotiation of each other. But nothing gold can stay, and soon the arrival of a third element makes everything unclear. The elements, beings and unseen forces throughout the landscape all quiver with delirious energy as a torrent of both eroticism and anguish roll in from the valley below.
Punctuated by undulating waves of rhythmic percussion, Narimane Mari's hypnotic and exploratory film drills deeply into the viewer with immediacy. Through developing a free style of filmmaking, unencumbered by the mediation of language, the film makes categorisations like 'documentary' and 'narrative' feel obsolete. It is an actuality, with images and emotions spilling onto the screen with utter immediacy, which we must accept on their own terms. —Herb Shellenberger

Narimane Mari

Narimane Mari (1969, Algiers) is a filmmaker and producer. She created the Paris-based film production company Central Electrique in 2006, and in 2010 created the Alergian production company Allers Retours Films to produce directors and artists involved in modern history.

Mari's directorial debut was Prologue (2007), about the artist Michel Haas (Museum of Solutré). Bloody Beans (2013), her first fiction film, won awards at FID Marseille, CPH:DOX, and Images Festival. Her second feature Le fort des fous (2017) was selected for many prestigious festivals including Locarno, Wavelengths (TIFF), Projections (NYFF), Experimenta (LFF) and RIDM (Montreal International Documentary Festival), and was presented as an installation at Documenta 14.

Her production credits include Hassen Ferhani's Roundabout in My Head (2015), Djamel Kerkar's Atlal (2016) and most recently Hassen Ferhani's 143 Sahara Street, which had its world premiere at Locarno 2019. She is currently developing Djamel Kerkar's next film Fireflies in the Dark of Time and editing her next film We Had the Day, Bonsoir!.

Filmography

Holy Days (2019), Le fort de fous (2017), La vie courante (installation, 2015), Bloody Beans (2013), Prologue (2007)