Malik Oussekine 'France's George Floyd' on screen
Malik Oussekine was murdered 35 years ago by French police officers.
The name is well-known among French minorities as a symbol of police brutality, yet it took 35 years for Malik Oussekine's murder to be shown on film.
Two police officers beat to death the 22-year-old French-Algerian on the fringes of a student demonstration in Paris on the night of December 6, 1986.
He had not been a part of the protest, and his death became a watershed moment, sparking weeks of upheaval and culminating in the cops' unusual conviction.
While the name Oussekine has remained well-known among minorities, his narrative has never been recreated for the big screen until now.
As if to make amends, two versions will be published this month: a feature, "Our Brothers", will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, and a Disney+ mini-series, "Oussekine", will be distributed globally on Wednesday.
Pascal Blanchard, a historian, told AFP that Oussekine was "attacked because of the color of his skin. He is France's Arab George Floyd."
He said that much of the French society had put Oussekine's narrative under the rug, as it had done with so much of its terrible past with immigrant communities.
Read more: Algeria: Dotting the I’s in France’s colonial history
Blanchard stated that it was "not a question of whether Malik Oussekine has been forgotten, but by who?"
France's darkest moment during 1961 was the massacre of up to 200 Algerian protesters by police in Paris on October 17. Many of them were not only shot dead but also had their bodies thrown into the Seine.
Last year, during the 60-year commemoration of the events, although Macron did not apologize, he stated that the events of that day were "inexcusable crimes".
Read more: France refuses to apologize for its Algerian past
According to the Oussekine family's lawyer, Georges Kiejman, the death of the boy marked the end of total police impunity.
Faiza Guene, 36 and born to Algerian parents, who helped write the screenplay for "Oussekine", says that "for our generation, it is important to say that these individual stories form part of the French national story. They are not separate. These are French stories."
The director, Antoine Chevrollier, told AFP that "the important thing is to make this name and this story resonate so that we never forget."
Chevrollier said he only realized the significance of Oussekine's name when he relocated to Paris from the Loire Valley and began socializing with people of diverse backgrounds.
"I hope the series will help ease the tensions that are unsettling the country. It is time that we in France begin to treat these historical cancers."