Remparts d’argile

Ramparts of Clay
Jean-Louis Bertuccelli weaves together two stories: that of a sit-down strike in the village of Chebika and that of a nineteen-year-old woman adopted into the community. For a long time, little happens, as the film, which is based on a book by sociologist Jean Duvignaud, slips into observational mode, unfolding the intermeshing of landscape and life in southern Tunisia without dialogue: women collecting water and weaving, children at school, men working in a quarry. When the workers refuse to sell their goods to the dealer, he calls on the military. Capital and violence encounter the resistance of the forces of production. Bertuccelli, who had to shoot his film in Algeria because of reservations on the part of the Tunisian government, stays with the perspective of the exploited without glossing over the violence within their community.
by Jean-Louis Bertuccelli
with Leila Shenna, Krikeche, Jean-Louis Trintignant,
France / Algeria 1970 French, Arabic 87’ Colour


  • Leila Shenna
  • Krikeche
  • Jean-Louis Trintignant
  • (The inhabitants of Tehouda (Algeria))


Director Jean-Louis Bertuccelli
Screenplay Jean Duvignaud according to his sociological study 'Chebika'
Cinematography Andréas Winding
Music Taos Amrouche

Produced by

Uccelli Production

Office Actualités Algériennes

Jean-Louis Bertuccelli

Born in Paris in 1942. After pursuing studies in Natural Science and Music, he earned a diploma in Sound at the Institut Supérieur d'Audiovisuel et de cinéma in Paris. After several short films, he made Remparts d'argile in 1969, with Jean-Louis Trintignant in the leading role. From the late 1980s onwards, he exclusively made television films. Bertuccelli died in 2014.


1967 Janine et l'amour; 9 min. 1972 Paulina 1880; 110 min. 1974 On s'est trompé d’histoire d’amour (Irrtum einer Liebesgeschichte / We Were Mistaken About a Love Story); 94 min. 1976 Docteur Françoise Gailland (Dr. med. Françoise Gailland); 100 min. 1977 L’imprécateur (Der Ankläger / The Accuser); 102 min. 1982 Interdit aux moins de 13 ans (Nicht jugendfrei); 90 min. 1984 Stress (Streß); 82 min. 1991 Aujourd’hui peut-être… (Benjamin / A Day to Remember); 90 min. 1996 Sur un air de mambo; 89 min. 2002 Marie Marmaille; 91 min.

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020