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Escadrons de la mort: L'école française (2003)

The French army was very influential in how modern suppression of independence movements has been and is carried out. This documentary reveals why.
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Cast

Credited cast:
Anibal Acosta ...
Himself
Alcides Lopez Aufranc ...
Himself
Carl Bernard ...
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Michel Besineau ...
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Ramon Diaz Bessone ...
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Marcel Bigeard ...
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Reynaldo Bignone ...
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Jean-Pierre Bousquet ...
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Horacio Mendez Carrera ...
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Manuel Contreras ...
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Bertrand de Parseval ...
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Juan Gaspari ...
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Monica Gonzales ...
Herself
Albano Harguindeguy ...
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John Johns ...
Himself
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Storyline

The story of how the colonial French army learned how to effective suppress independence movements in Algeria through torture and death squads. It also reveals how this knowledge was welcomed by US and Latin American military academies who used it to educate new recruits. The 1967 movie "Battle of Algiers" was also a popular tool in this grim education. To make up for a lack of archival reel, footage from this movie is used in the documentary. Written by Benjamin Taft

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Release Date:

1 September 2003 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Death Squads: The French School  »

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User Reviews

 
A great small-scale documentary on the Argentine military government
25 March 2006 | by (Capital, Buenos Aires, Argentina) – See all my reviews

We all know that the US backed up the military regimes in Latin America. Not so well known is the "French connection", basically they even trained the Americans on guerrilla warfare!

The courageous Marie-Monique Robin gets into the military's garrisons and private houses, and gets invaluable testimonies. Sometimes "official", others with a surprisingly effective "hidden camera". I do think "the end justifies the means" in this particular case!

I sometimes even fear for her own security, wondering what would have happened if they caught her (specially the Chilean). She delves on the "Condor" plan, the connection between Brazilian, Chilean, Argentinian etc forces for exchanging information and "savoir faire" about kidnapping, torture and murder. It's fun how the French generals seem to be totally proud about their job, I suppose they are even heroes! Whereas the Argentine have been judged and condemned, by the society as much as by the judges. A difficult topic, where a definite opinion is not easy.

As a side point, I find alluring the beautiful French language, even when talking about such a violent topic. If only beauty could cancel things out...


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