A film commissioned by the Algerian government that shows the Algerian revolution from both sides. The French foreign legion has left Vietnam in defeat and has something to prove. The Algerians are seeking independence. The two clash. The torture used by the French is contrasted with the Algerian's use of bombs in soda shops. A look at war as a nasty thing that harms and sullies everyone who participates in it.Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In 1954, the National Liberation Front of Algiers shots many French policemen beginning a movement for the independence of their country; in return, the Chief of Police plants a bomb in the Arab quarter, killing many dwellers. The NLF sends three women with bombs to two bars and the Air France office in the European quarter, killing many people. The French government sends the military forces under the command of the abusive Colonel Mathieu (Jean Martin) that does not respect the human rights and uses torture to destroy the NLF command. In 1962, the Algerians finally achieve their aimed independence.
"La Battaglia di Algeri" is a powerful and impressive masterpiece about the fight that happened in Algiers in the period between 1954 and 1962 between the Algerian resistance and the French military forces. A couple of months ago I saw "Mon Colonel", another magnificent movie about this dark period of the mankind history. In both movies, we see no difference between the methods used by French in Algerian, or the Nazis in World War II, or the South American's dictatorships in the 60's, 70's and 80's, or by the American in Iraq, of the Chinese in Tibet. "Liberty, Fraternity, Equality for us, but torture and abuse of the human rights for the others" should be the correct sentence applicable to most nations. Therefore the writing of Machiavelli in "The Prince" about the behavior of the "princes" along history could be updated to the disrespect of human rights by powerful nations against weakest ones in the name of their best interests. This movie is impressive because it seems to be a documentary, with grainy cinematography and non-professional actors, in a perfect contemporary Neorealism. I am not familiar with the work of director Gillo Pontecorvo, but I really believe that this movie is his masterpiece. My vote is ten.
Title (Brazil): "A Batalha de Argel" ("The Battle of Algiers")
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