How to become a killing machine in Algeria when, at the start, you are a Pacifist Breton. Let Lieutenant Perrin deal with this bunch of rebels and make them "true soldiers", who know how to... See full summary »
How to become a killing machine in Algeria when, at the start, you are a Pacifist Breton. Let Lieutenant Perrin deal with this bunch of rebels and make them "true soldiers", who know how to shoot, who know how to torture, who know how to kill. Only Noël resists, only Noël tries to do something to put an end to this folly... Written by
When I saw the movie in a theater,some 30 years ago,we were two.
"Avoir vingt ans dans les Aurès" is ,technically ,a rather poor ,nay,amateurish work.And nevertheless ,it's an important one.It preceded the much more accessible "RAS" (Yves Boisset) by almost one year.
It's some kind of scribbled notes about the war,but the words do not cut,they bite.All the soldiers on the screen are conscripts who do not know why they are fighting for and who are always screaming "la quille!" (=demob!)Tired,pitiful soldiers ,in a dirty war ,which was to France what Vietnam was to America.
The movie is made of several flashbacks and an epilogue .Rebellious draftees in les Aures (south of Algeria).A lieutenant (an excellent Philippe Leotard,it's interesting to note that this actor,now deceased,was known for his liberal lefties ideas),whose job is war and who is in the end more intelligent than the intellectual of his platoon.His takeover of Nono's death ,at the end of the movie ,followed by the lines in the final credits, shows that the last laugh is his.He knew from the start that the proles union was nothing but a good joke.
With the exception of a schoolteacher,all the draftees are non educated guys.One of them does not even know what a putsch is !"First,we shoot because we have the jitters,but little by little,we get to like it". There is no music,but there are a lot of songs ,most of them overtly anarchist and anti militarist :"do not set foot in this s...,or you will sink into it up to your neck".
Please ,do not compare it to "paths of glory" .René Vautier is not a great director ,but his movie was made from real facts and it is a moving account of how in Algeria ,young boys'lives were stolen -two of them disappeared mysteriously ,we're told during the final credits,and their family did not have any information about what happened-.
A beautiful scene shows the boys screaming "now we are the generals !what shall we do?" "No more wars,no more uniforms !" is the answer as the soldiers strip bare and one of them shows his a....
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