Africa Direct

The Cave: A puppeteer in Algeria

Puppets, artists and an Algerian father-and-son team bringing creative joy to their community.

Puppeteer and artist Houcine Bensemicha is preparing a new show with his puppet, Kerkouz.

In the remote Algerian town of Sidi Bel Abbès, he and his father have created a much-needed space for artists and audiences. As they banter about costumes and string mechanics, the story of their little theatre museum unfolds.

The Cave, by filmmaker El Kheyer Zidani, tells a story of creativity, community, puppets and a son’s love for his father.

El Kheyer Zidani is an Algerian director and producer who has made several short films, including Ma Vie, Amezgun Amaziy, Protest Camp and Nice Very Nice, which were selected in more than 30 film festivals and won several awards, including the Jury award at the Luxor African Film Festival and a nomination for the African Movie Academy Awards.