Country: Algeria, United Arab Emirates, Ireland (Eire), France
Language: French
Year: 2011
Running Time: 93 and 52 min
The film tells the story of a journey that started in a small mirror shop during Bousbia’s visit to Algiers in 2003. Intrigued by some old photographs of a music class from the 1940s, she set out to track down these lost friends, now aged between 70 and 100 and living across Algeria and France. Five decades after their first lessons at the Conservatory of Algiers under the legendary master El Hadj M’Hamed El Anka, the members of El Gusto now recount the country’s turbulent history and their undying passion for “CHABBI”  –a rhythmic and unique cocktail of Andalusian, Berber, Arabic and Flamenco music traditions. Chabbi was the homegrown music of the AlgerianCasbah; the music of the streets, the coffee shops and weddings that united  (and defied) religion, class, and ethnicity. 
Director Safinez Bousbia
Producer Heidi Egger
Producer Safinez Bousbia
Executive Producer Philippe Maynial
Director of Photography Nuria Roldos
Editor Françoise Bonnot
Sound Eric Münch
Music Orchestre El Gusto
“El Gusto” is the story of a group of musicians torn apart by history and brought together by music. Featuring musicians: Mamad Haïder Benchaouch Rachid Berkani Ahmed Bernaoui Abdelkader Chercham Redha el-Djilali Mohamed el-Ferkioui Abdelrahmane Guellati Liamine Haimoune El Hadi Halo Abdel Madjid Meskoud Mustapha Tahmi Robert Castel Luci Cherki
Safinez Bousbia  | director
Safinez Bousbia was born in Algeria and educated in Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the UAE. She entered the world of film in 2003 after working as an architect. In 2004, she set up Quidam Productions, a Dublin-based production company, dedicated to finding untold stories and bringing them to the screen. In the same year, she wrote, directed and produced X-KIDS, a 52-minute documentary. She produced and directed EL GUSTO, a 2.5 million euros feature length musical film, edited by legendary Academy Award-winning French editor Francoise Bonnot (Z, FRIDA, TITUS, THE TEMPEST). As part of the project, she formed the EL GUSTO orchestra and produced a series of concerts in legendary venues worldwide, including the Barbican (London), Bercy (Paris), Théâtre du Gymnase (Marseille) and l’Opéra d’Alger (Algeria). She also collaborated with Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) to produce the orchestra’s first album, which is distributed by EMI. EL GUSTO triumphantly played at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival where it won two prizes; Best Director from the Arab World, and the International Film Critics Prize (FIPRESCI).
2011 EL GUSTO (Doc)
2004 X-KIDS (Doc)
Author: Jay Weissberg
"Toe-tapping and infectious on emotional and intellectual levels, EL GUSTO is Safinez Bousbia's heartwarming tribute to her native country's lost egalitarianism. Comparisons are being made to THE BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB, and while there are similarities, Bousbia's docu concentrates on the history as well as the music, making the orchestra's reunion at the end especially poignant. Fests will be breaking down the door, since auds are sure to embrace EL GUSTO with gusto; international arthouses could also have a winner."
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Screen Daily
Author: Mark Adams
"An Algerian variation on The Buena Vista Social Club, writer/director Safinez Bousbia’s uplifting and entertaining EL GUSTO is a classy music-orientated documentary that, while it touches on many other themes (politics, war, religion etc), always returns to the power and passion of music. Safinez Bousbia has constructed a film that is fascinating and ultimately moving."
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