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This movie is not just a basic war film. It does not show habitual war scenes, fights or other spectacular events. It depicts the different ways that the three main characters (an anarchist, a communist, and a "common" guy) will choose to follow during the Algerian war. The anarchist and the communist are forced by law to engage to the army (the french army was still a conscription army), but this war goes against all their political conviction. The "common" guy has no sense of politics, and although he is not a war enthusiast, he don't show opposition to the war. The three will eventually became friends. The "common" guy will quickly became politically tainted by the two others.
The film is only about one question : what are you willing to lose, to stay within your conscience ?
Would you chose to obey, and kill peoples that you don't know, and that you can't blame for anything ? Would you rebel against your own society, sacrificing yourself, your life, your parents, love and children, and everything you owns for the only sake of not betraying your inner self and convictions ?
Sad and intelligent movie. With humor elements, and some side elements of reflection.
Note that this film was "remaked" by Kubrick, with "full metal jacket", although Kubrick did lost some significant things, FMJ being a bit obscure.
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