When first offered the role, Albert Dupontel turned it down because he felt his character, at that point a torturer, to be "too negative". Rather than cast another actor in the part, Florent-Emilio Siri decided to rewrite the character as more human, as he felt Dupontel was the only actor who could do justice to the part. See more »
When the platoon is ambushed, the radio operator reports that they are being fired upon by MG-42s, which are captured German machine guns from the Second World War. These machine guns have a high rate of fire and produce a different sound than that edited into the film. See more »
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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