Freedom fighters & colonialist torturers: Then and now
Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! This sordid chapter of French military misadventure is particularly galling on a number of fronts. Firstly, the former French Resistance members tortured by the Gestapo during WWII find no irony (during their interviews for this hour-plus documentary) in their own effort a decade later to use the tactics they learned from the Nazis to maintain an official French "province" covering an entire African nation under military rule and apartheid social policies. Secondly, these same French officers admit that 95% of the hundreds of people they tortured, murdered, or "disappeared" were not even sympathizers of the FLN freedom-fighters. Thirdly, the thing that made the Algerians antsy toward French rule in the first place was that after conscripting them and using them as "cannon fodder" during WWII, the few surviving veterans returning home they WERE NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO SWIM on their own sandy beaches, being herded instead to rocky waste surf while the tiny minority of French-speaking "pied noir" transplants enjoyed all of the nice swimming and other amenities this African nation offered. Fourthly, every time America has been forced to exercise foreign policy in the past 25 years, the French are always the first to criticize. Fortunately, the French eventually realized they could not murder EVERY Algerian, so they pardoned some of the captured movement members, who are interviewed here in their positions of leadership today. Down here on earth, there was little justice for all the victims of torture and massacres (45,000 died in a single incident). One of the military miscreants mentioned in this film lived to the age of 94, while another passed away his retirement years making wine. However, you should still watch this documentary, so you have ample ammunition from "the horse's mouth" next time the hypocritical Gallic yapping starts.
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