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Five Directors on 'The Battle of Algiers' (2004)

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Documentary | Short

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12 October 2004 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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This short documentary is featured on the 3-Disc Criterion Collection DVD of The Battle of Algiers (1966), released in 2004. See more »

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Features The Battle of Algiers (1966) See more »

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This bull session provides some useful information
14 July 2009 | by (Rosebush) – See all my reviews

Though clocking in at less than 18 minutes, FIVE DIRECTORS provides some information that may help the viewer appreciate aspects of director Gillo Pontecorvo's 1966 classic docudrama, THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS. Mira Nair says "this (BATTLE) is the only film in the world I wish I had directed myself." Steven Soderbergh admits "I stole stuff (from BATTLE) and made it mine" in his 2000 feature film, TRAFFIC. Julian Schnabel compares BATTLE to "must reading." Soderbergh adds, "Any movie that starts out with torture--well, as a film watcher, you know you're in for a ride." Oliver Stone allows he was struck most by the "unselfish fanaticism" of the restaurant bombers depicted in BATTLE. Nair helpfully provides a name for the warbling Muslim females vocalize when mourning in the movie: it's called "ululating." Schnabel remembers, "After 9-11, I wanted everyone to see this movie." Spike Lee concludes, "Obviously, the film-makers (of BATTLE), at the end of the day, are on the side of the Algerians, and, in this case, that's the right side."


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