Agence France-Presse, May 8, 2022
he name resonates deeply among French minorities as a symbol of police violence, but it has taken 35 years for the death of Malik Oussekine to be recounted on-screen.
On the night of December 6, 1986, two police officers beat to death the 22-year-old French-Algerian on the sidelines of a student protest in Paris.
He had not been involved in the demonstration, and his killing became a turning point — triggering weeks of unrest and leading to the unprecedented conviction of the officers.
While Oussekine’s name has continued to reverberate among minorities, his story has never been adapted for the screen until now.
As if making up for lost time, two versions are being released this month: a film, “Our Brothers”, premieres at the Cannes Film Festival, and a Disney+ mini-series, “Oussekine”, is released worldwide on Wednesday.
“He was attacked because of the colour of his skin. He is France’s Arab George Floyd,” historian Pascal Blanchard told AFP, referring to the African-American whose death at the hands of police in 2020 sparked massive international protests.
Oussekine’s death was crucial in marking the end of total police impunity — the first time that officers were convicted for this type of crime, according to the family’s lawyer, Georges Kiejman.
Its director, Antoine Chevrollier, was part of the team behind hit spy series “The Bureau”, and the lauded political saga “Baron Noir”.
“I hope the series will help ease the tensions that are unsettling the country. It is time that we in France begin to treat these historical cancers.”