Mia Bendrimia
Algeria - France


Born in France to a family estranged from its Algerian roots, I grew up with the weight of an enveloping silence surrounding our past. My quest to break this familial taboo comes crashing against my grandmother’s reluctance to talk. Over the course of my exploration, I unveil my late grandfather’s involvement on the French side during Algeria’s fight for independence, pulling me into the shadows of an untold past. Delving into this dark chapter obscured from French textbooks, I stumble upon unexpected family connections to both sides of the conflict when I discover that my grandfather’s cousin, the “Algerian Rambo,” was a hero of the revolution. Amid family apprehension and contradictions, I embark for the first time on a journey to Algeria, in an attempt to trace our roots, confront fears, and uncover buried truths. As I am attempting to weave together both my family and my fragmented identity, I discover truths that challenge everything I thought I knew about my family.

1st feature
Director of photography

Amandine Klee (& others)


Samy Zertal (& others)


Nazar Films (France)
Kira Simon-Kennedy


19, Mulholland Drive (Algeria)
Yanis Koussim

Director’s statement

The Magma delves into the visceral need to understand and acknowledge the past in order to truly exist in the present. The title hints at the volatile nature of suppressed memories as well as France’s wilful amnesia towards its colonial past: always simmering, perpetually ready to erupt and flow into the present. This documentary bridges personal and national tales, journeying through the director’s own family’s story within France’s and Algeria’s broader historical narratives. Told from the heart, the film captures the complexity of our memories, always revealing deeper truths within each account fraught from centuries of colonialism and decades of decolonization. The Magma seeks to resonate with anyone wrestling with fragmented identity and searching for clarity amid intergenerational trauma.


Mia Bendrimia
Mia Bendrimia

Mia Bendrimia is a French-Algerian director and producer. After studying political science and international relations, she established herself in Cairo, where she worked as a creative producer, familiarizing herself with the film landscape in the Middle East. Bendrimia is the founder and CEO of Nazar Films, a Paris-based production house that crafts impactful stories from the MENA and Mediterranean worlds. She also founded the Cairo Cinema Club, creating a space for the new generation of Egyptian filmmakers through weekly screenings.

Kira Simon-Kennedy
Kira Simon-Kennedy

Independent film producer Kira Simon-Kennedy was nominated for an Academy Award for Jessica Kingdon’s Ascension (2021) and is currently producing several feature-length documentary projects: Yeelen Cohen’s Lights of Passage; Jiayu Yang’s The Entomologists; Shelley Cheung’s Laying the Last Track; AX Mina’s Rubbish; Morehshin Allahyari’s The Remaining Signs of Future Centuries; and Mia Bendrimia’s The Magma. Simon-Kennedy is also the co-founder of China Residencies/The Yao collaborative, a multifaceted international arts nonprofit that has supported hundreds of projects since 2013.

Total budget

€639 200

Financing secured

€313 850

Shooting period and locations

June—July 2022, December 2022, October—December 2023, Algeria, France

Expected delivery

May 2024

Other Films in production or post-production