Pontecorvo’s Battle of Algiers

Acknowledged as a masterpiece, The Battle of Algiers tells the story of the bloody Algerian war for independence from the colonial rule of France.

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. The Battle of Algiers looks at war as a nasty thing that harms and sullies everyone who participates in it.

Somewhat ironically, the Pentagon, Black Panthers and IRA all studied the film to learn how to fight (or wage, as the case may be) an insurgency. The Battle of Algiers serves as a reminder that fiction can give insights and ʻtruthʼ.

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