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Perret in France and Algeria

GER 2012, 110 min

30 buildings and architectural ensembles of the French architects and construction engineers Auguste and Gustave Perret.


The film PERRET IN FRANCE AND ALGERIA presents 30 buildings and architectural ensembles of the French architects and construction engineers Auguste and Gustave Perret. Auguste Perret has masterfully refined concrete construction in the implementation of his projects and instilled in them a classical expression. Working in parallel to the execution of numerous construction projects in France, Perret was building under conditions of colonialism in North Africa. The film traces this division chronologically. The buildings erected in Algeria from 1912 until 1952 are for the first time the subject of a film, as are the ones built in France. The edifices of Perret in France and their continued existence in the present are thus juxtaposed to his projects realized in North Africa. A differentiated interaction with the “architectural heritage” in diverging cultures thereby becomes visible. The fate of Western architectural modernism along with its symbolic value and sustainability in the everyday interaction with its resulting products in varying social conditions and landscapes comes into view.

PERRET IN FRANCE AND ALGERIA is the second part of Heinz Emigholz’ series DECAMPMENT OF MODERNISM, which also includes PARABETON and THE AIRSTRIP


Rent or buy the movie on Vimeo.
Language: No dialogue

Awards and Festivals

- Festival del film Locarno, 2012
- Toronto International Film Festival, 2012
- Kaunas International Film Festival, 2012
- Vancouver International Film Festival, 2012
- Viennale – Vienna International Film Festival, 2012
- Duisburger Filmwoche – Festival des deutschsprachigen Dokumentarfilms, 2012
- Festival International du Film d'Environnement, Paris 2013
- MOMA’s International Festival of Nonfiction Film and Media, 2013
- Riviera Maya Film Festival, Mexiko 2013
- Northwest Film Forum, Seattle 2013
- Haifa Film Festival, Israel 2013
- Film Fest Gent, Belgien 2013
- Doclisboa – International Film Festival, Portugal 2013
- Experimental Film and Video Festival, Seoul 2013

Additional Texts

Auguste Perret

Auguste Perret (1874-1954), son of a constructor, studied architecture in Paris where together with his two brothers he took over his father’s company in 1905 under the name  „Perret Frères“. Like Louis Sullivan, he gained recognition with his early constructions utilizing an open configuration of nogging walls and facades of scaffold-like reinforced concrete (Apartment house in the Rue Franklin, 1903). The eye-catching use of concrete skeletons in his buildings made him a decisive representative and developer of new structural forms made possible through concrete construction methods (Théatre des Champs-Elysées in 1913).  His architecture achieves sensational results with an unusual connection of stylistic elements from Art Nouveau and neoclassicism with creative externalized construction frames and his bold experiments with concrete. The works he executed show extreme versatility - from houses and apartment buildings, studios, workshops, production facilities, warehouses, theaters and churches to the planning of whole city districts. He was the French pioneer of Modernism and is a constant source of inspiration for Modern Architecture. His influence on Le Corbusier, who worked for 10 years in his office, is unmistakable. The award of the International Union of Architects for "Architectural Technologies" is called the Auguste-Perret-Prize in his honor. He was the first to build modern churches with distinctive support frames and window lattices out of concrete (Notre-Dame du Raincy, 1923, Montmagny, 1926). Spiral staircases (Musée des Traveux Publics, 1937), style defining multi-story buildings in Amiens and Le Havre (1947) and the reconstruction of the city centre of Le Havre after the Second World War with the Saint-Joseph church (1954) belong to his masterful later works.


Director, Screenplay and Director of Photography
Heinz Emigholz
Assistant Camera
Till Beckmann
Heinz Emigholz, Till Beckmann
Original Sound France
Markus Ruff
Original Sound Algeria
Frieder Schlaich
Sound Design
Jochen Jezussek, Christian Obermaier
Sound Mixer
Stephan Konken
Till Beckmann
Assistant Production France
Katharina Zollner
Assistant Production Algeria
Kenza Mehadji
Assistant Production Berlin
Markus Ruff, Alex Jovanovic
Frieder Schlaich, Irene von Alberti
Produced by
Filmgalerie 451
In Coproduction with
WDR (Reinhard Wulf)
Founded by
Die Beauftragte der Regierung für Kultur und Medien – BKM, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and Filmförderung Hamburg-Schleswig-Holstein


SCHATTENFILM (113 min.) with additional shots, building by building navigation, Presskit
International Version (no dialogue)
Country Code
NTSC / Color
110 min + 113 min Extras
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
DD 5.1 + 2.0
Set Content
Softbox (Set Content: 2), DVD and Blu-ray Disc
Release Date
Info-Programm gemäß §14 JuSchG

Distribution Details

Screening Format
DCP (2K, 24fps & 25fps, 5.1)
Blu-ray Disc (HD)
Aspect Ratio
HD, 1:1,85
International Version (no dialogue)
Promotion Material
License Area
Info-Programm gemäß §14 JuSchG