DFI at VOX: The Last Queen
Algeria, 1516. Aruj Barbarossa, one of the most notorious pirates in history, frees Algiers from the tyranny of the Spanish and seizes power over the kingdom. But rumour has it he murdered the King Salim Toumi, despite their seeming alliance. After his ascension to power, Barbarossa quickly proposes marriage to the slain king’s beautiful wife—Queen Zaphira. Strong-willed and resolute, she breaks with tradition and chooses her own destiny, fighting for her autonomy, her beloved son and her nation. Between history and legend, this woman’s journey tells of a struggle, of personal and political turmoil endured for the sake of Algiers. Led by exceptional female performances, Algeria’s first costume drama, ‘The Last Queen,’ is a fascinating historical drama—although Zaphira’s actual existence and exact role is still a hotly contested topic amongst Algerian historians to this day. Regardless, its story is Shakespearean in scale and intrigue, exploring a crucial period in time for the North African nation that has never been done before in film. Between its impressive action scenes and well-choreographed battles lies a very human story of political intrigue, betrayals and power that paints a rich portrait of a now-legendary female figure.