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The Battle of Algiers

  • 1965
  • Gillo Pontecorvo
  • 116 mins

Summary

Acclaimed film, shot in documentary style, about the 1954-62 guerrilla war in Algeria which resulted in the country's independence from French rule.

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Review

A star rating of 5 out of 5.

The winner of the Golden Lion at Venice and nominated for three Oscars, this stark and compelling drama about the rise of the Front de Libération Nationale in Algeria was banned by a French government still smarting from the recent loss of that country. Yet, one of the strengths of Gillo Pontecorvo's cinéma-vérité approach is its refusal to condemn or condone: French and Algerian rhetoric is given an equal airing. Scenes of destructive military aggression are counterbalanced by savage acts of terrorism. Even French colonel Jean Martin and FLN activist Yacef Saadi are each depicted as honorable individuals caught in the great tide of history. Depressingly, this compassionate masterpiece of political analysis still has much contemporary resonance. But it also has a vigour, a commitment and an intelligence that is absent from too much modern cinema.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Saari KaderYacef Saadi
Colonel MathieuJean Martin
Ali la PointeBrahim Haggiag
Captain DuboisTommaso Neri
FathiaSamia Kerbash
HalimaFawzia El-Kader
The captainUgo Paletti
Petit OmarMohamed Ben Kassen

Crew

rolename
DirectorGillo Pontecorvo

Details

Theatrical distributor
ICA Projects
Released on
2007-05-11
Languages
Arabic | French
Guidance
Contains violence.
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Black and white
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