Far From Men: David Oelhoffen

Far From Men: David Oelhoffen

by Joanna Orland

In 1954, colonial conflict in Algeria is rife. Daru (Viggo Mortenson), a French teacher based in a small Algerian village, finds himself in the middle of this struggle when a prisoner named Mohamed (Reda Kateb) is handed over for Daru to escort him to his death. On their journey, Daru and Mohamed find themselves united as outsiders to the conflict of war, bonded by their commonalities as much as their differences. This is a journey that will change them both forever.

“One way for me to deal with the subject matter of the war is to take the story through the eyes of people who are living it. It also means that it’s not a historical film, it’s a film about what happens when a country suddenly topples into war. And maybe that’s why it’s also more connected to today’s world more so than if I’d done a film about the Algerian war – the eight years of Algerian war,” explains David.

Based on a short story by Albert Camus, Far From Men (Loin Des Hommes) is French director David Oelhoffen’s showcase piece. Having both written and directed the film himself, Oelhoffen demonstrates his ability as a storyteller able to evoke genuine emotion from the viewer. With the perfect cast and scenery to work with while filming, Oelhoffen adds icing on the cake by working with Warren Ellis and Nick Cave to compose the musical score to this already haunting film.

“I can tell you there was not music everywhere,” says David. “The function of music in this film would be to accompany the evolution of the relationship between the two main characters.”

Alongside his interpreter, director David Oelhoffen speaks to us about adapting Albert Camus, how Canadian hockey player Guy Lafleur is responsible for Viggo Mortensen getting his role, and working with Warren and Nick to make the perfect score for a relationship-centric war film.

Read our review of Far From Men.

Watch & Listen to our red carpet interviews with Far From Men star Viggo Mortensen and composers Warren Ellis & Nick Cave.

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