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An incredibly-filmed, gripping, and haunting movie about the horrors of guerrilla warfare, from the perspective of French troops in Algeria. The film is hypnotizing in its portrayal of the way in which violence and torture end up shattering these men's psyche and spirit.
The movie is also a good reminder of the hypocrisy of imperial powers. Many French fought the Nazi Germans when they invaded their country in the name of "freedom", but just 20 years later they were trying to crush the Algerian resistance for doing exactly the same thing: opposing a foreign, colonial occupation of their land. Yet the movie avoids simplistic dichotomies and, far from romanticizing the Algerian FLN, it crudely shows the atrocities committed by both sides. The landscapes in which the action takes place are mesmerizing in their crude, gripping, raw beauty.
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