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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Anton Ludvik, aka Gerard, is vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia. He realizes he is watched and followed. One day, he is arrested and put into jail, in solitary confinement. ... See full summary »
In occupied France during the WWII, a German officer is murdered. The collaborationist Vichy government decides to pin the murder on six petty criminals. Loyal judges are called in to convict them as quickly as possible.
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
Due to the tense situation in Algeria where the movie was shot, the crew and cast had to be constantly escorted by Algerian servicemen. Nevertheless Olivier Gourmet once found himself alone walking across a district of an Algerian town on his way to the filming dressed as a French colonel. Fortunately, no harm ensued. See more »
Superb, gripping take on France's Algeria quagmire.
Not writing a review as such, just keen to share some thoughts.
Spoiler Alert: The Iraq comparison hits you in the face early on. And from a western point of view Iraq is THE telling comparison.
America's occupation post Saddam ouster is much more in keeping with the tone of the Algerian experience. Afghanistan, as wars go, is a more just one - fought in response to an international act of mass murder.
The Colonel, although made essentially toxic by his long exposure to war, is waging, with the apparent blessing of the French military hierarchy, a campaign to bust up an insurgency and seems to have succeeded.
He's displaying the whatever it takes mentality to win, isn't he?.
I'm sure it wasn't only the Gestapo who practiced torture in WW11.
I'm NOT saying this is right, but the film, at least for me, begs the question - is it necessarily wrong as part of an overall war-fighting/winning strategy - especially if it will save lives.
The ultra naive young Lt bothered me. Completely unfit for military service, psychologically and physically.
Clearly, I know he shouldn't have been in the army, let alone Algeria - joining up because of a broken heart.
Spoiler Alert/s: But I was repulsed by his cowardice when he finally made it into combat but couldn't even bring himself to use his gun to save the life of a French comrade.
In fact he didn't fire a single shot during the village skirmish, preferring to cower behind a stone wall, as those about him blast away at the insurgents.
And HE is the one who opens the Colonel's mind to his process of bloody realpolitik, but doesn't see it until his musings about summary execution become a gut churning reality.
As an earlier contributor wrote, I agree this film is more interesting for the historical/human conduct questions it raises rather than the obvious Oh-My-God! this is just like the Americans in Iraq thing!..
"The Colonel", much like his job in the film, truly toys with your mind.
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