A "Reformed Colonel" is found dead in Paris, a couple of decades after Algeria's struggle for independence was won from France. Lieutenant Galois is assigned the investigation of this ...
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A "Reformed Colonel" is found dead in Paris, a couple of decades after Algeria's struggle for independence was won from France. Lieutenant Galois is assigned the investigation of this murder. She receives the diary of Lieutenent Guy Rossi who served under The Colonel in Algeria in 1956, and has been reported as missing in action since 1957. The revelations found in Rossi's diary go far beyond The Colonel's actions in Algeria, and give an insight on how dirty Algeria's War for Independence really was. Written by
When the extreme rightist retired with amnesty Colonel Raoul Duplan (Olivier Gourmet) is deadly shot in his house, Detective Phillipe from the police department investigates the case. Lieutenant Galois (Cécile De France) is assigned by the high command of the army to follow the investigations of the murder and prepare reports with her findings. Without any lead, she receives some pages of the diary of Lieutenant Guy Rossi (Robinson Stévenin) with a message telling that the colonel died in Saint Arnaud. Lieutenant Galois reads the pages and discovers that Rossi was a just-graduated lawyer with a broken heart because his girlfriend Isabelle left him that volunteered to the French army in 1955 and served under the command of the colonel in Algeria. Every day, the curious Galois receives a correspondence with the sequel of the diary disclosing details of the relationship of Rossi with the colonel until she discloses the identity and the motives of the killer.
"Mon Colonel" is an unknown gem that deserves to be discovered by lovers of cinema and history. The fictitious story shows unscrupulous details of the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962), with torture, guerrilla, terrorism, the cynical campaign of "pacification" of the French Army and other cruelties through the eyes of a rookie, clumsy and naive lieutenant. The screenplay, written by the great Costa-Gravas, is one of the most intelligent that I have recently seen, disclosing the story in the 50's in pieces, leaving the viewer anxious for the sequence, entwined with the investigation of a murder. The stylish direction of Laurent Herbiet could not be better, alternating colors with the black and white of the period of war in an awesome cinematography. Olivier Gourmet is impressive in the role of the tough colonel; Robinson Stévenin is perfect in the role of a man that loses his innocence; Cécile De France extremely beautiful giving a touch of feeling to the story and the cameo of Charles Aznavour closing the plot with golden key. There is also a criticism to the amnesty given to torturers like Colonel Raoul Duplan (and many members of the military dictatorships in South America in the 70's and 80's). Last but not the least, the situation of the poor oppressed people in Algeria in the 50's is not different from the present situations of Iraq and Afghanistan. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): "Meu Coronel" ("My Colonel")
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