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Taxiphone The Center of the World

Isola Film Festival awarded film Taxiphone directed by Mohammed Soudani: a Swiss director originally from El-Chelif, Alergia that made more then 30 documentaries for Swiss Television RTSI. His directorial debut Waalo Fendo, Là où la terre gèle, gave him international recognition first time in 1997.








This time in Isola he presented his latest film Taxiphone , a film about Oliver and Elena, young Swiss couple that are cruising the Sahara in truck to get to Timbuktu, Mali, but truck breaks down, and they stop in the Algerian oasis of Djanet. Everyday life and Moslem customs of the oases circles around a small Taxi Phone, owned by Tuareg Said. The only place for tourists and everyone else to interact, a place of connection to a world outside. Also, there are great stories surrounding this place that Elen find refreshing and fascinating, while Oliver has difficulty to adjust to a life in the desert. For Elena  this is colorful world full of joy and colorful customs of women, while Oliver is struggling. It seems that they are about to discover something about changes in their life. The story may be seen as romantic and exotic road movie and exploration of the Third World, very cleverly put and presented by the director. Soudani here depicts intercultural encounter of the couple where voyage of a Swiss couple through Algeria symbolizes the encounter of Soudani’s country of origin Algeria with Switzerland, his country of adoption: two entirely different countries, country of snow and country of sandstorm. 

It seems that world needs more communication that often becomes smaller and smaller and more violent, often out of ignorance of each other: prejudices fall down  as we realize that all we have to do is to look around. „In the film, through this Swiss couple’s journey of initiation, masks and prejudices crumble as the realization emerges that all we have to do is look around us in a different way to better understand our world,“ said Mohammed Soudani 



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