French drama based on the book written by Saadi Yacef about his experiences during the Algerian War of Independence. A reconstruction of events follows the people of Algiers fighting for their independence from the French government, with a flashback from Ali La Pointe (Brahim Haggiag) which shows him joining and becoming a leading member of the Algerian Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN) up until his eventual capture in 1957. Both sides escalate their brutality and violence, while children shoot soldiers, women conceal bombs in restaurants and French soldiers take extreme measures to contain the rebels. Following the capture and killing of Ali and the remaining FLN members, the story subsequently focuses on the declaration of Algerian independence in 1962.
Please note this is a region B Blu-ray and will require a region B or region free Blu-ray player in order to play. The Battle Of Algiers tells the story of the life-and-death struggle between the French colonial government of Algeria and the Algerian Liberation Front, the FLN, who wanted the French out and were willing to set off bombs to do it. The French sent in their elite Paratroopers with the order to use Any Means to break the insurgent – torture included. It’s a true story, done on location with many of the FLN appearing in it, including the producer who was indeed a senior FLN figure. This film is a passionate yet completely impartial record of struggle which led to Algeria’s Independence. Actors Brahim Hadjadj, Jean Martin, Yacef Saadi, Samia Kerbash, Ugo Paletti, Fusia El Kader, Omar & Mohamed Ben Kassen Director Gillo Pontecorvo Certificate 15 years and over Year 1966 Languages French-Arabic – DTS HD (2.0) Additional Languages Italian Subtitles English Duration 2 hours (approx)
Director Gillo Pontecorvo’s 1966 movie The Battle of Algiers concerns the violent struggle in the late 1950s for Algerian independence from France, where the film was banned on its release for fear of creating civil disturbances. Certainly, the heady, insurrectionary mood of the film, enhanced by a relentlessly pulsating Ennio Morricone soundtrack, makes for an emotionally high temperature throughout. With the advent of the “war against terror” in recent years, the film’s relevance has only intensified. Shot in a gripping, quasi-documentary style, The Battle of Algiers uses a cast of untrained actors coupled with a stern voiceover. Initially, the film focuses on the conversion of young hoodlum Ali La Pointe (Brahim Haggiag) to FLN (the Algerian Liberation Front.) However, as a sequence of outrages and violent counter-terrorist measures ensue, it becomes clear that, as in Eisenstein’s October, it is the Revolution itself that is the true star of the film. Pontecorvo balances cinematic tension with grimly acute political insight. He also manages an even-handedness in depicting the adversaries. He doesn’t flinch from demonstrating the civilian consequences of the FLN’s bombings, while Colonel Mathieu, the French office brought in to quell the nationalists, is played by Jean Martin as determined, shrewd and, in his own way, honourable man. However, the closing scenes of the movie–a welter of smoke, teeming street demonstrations and the pealing white noise of ululations–leaves the viewer both intellectually and emotionally convinced of the rightfulness of the liberation struggle. This is surely among a fistful of the finest movies ever made. –David Stubbs