The Battle of Algiers, 1966


{Theatrical Release Poster}

In French Algeria, the Algerian people are reacting against the French who they consider a threatening colonizing power.

My Thoughts: There were two major parts to this film: what happened before and after the arrival of the French military para-troopers to Algiers.  Prior to the arrival of the para-troopers we were depicted a scene where the FLN was protecting their people, their way of life, and trying to show their people that it was not okay to be fine living in exile in their own city, After the arrival of the paratroopers, we were shown the round-up and slaughter of everyone that stood in the military’s way.

I did not know much about this issue at all, so I enjoyed learning about it through the film. The documentary style made the film appear very life-like.

The film began in a moment of action, that actually occurs near the end of the film. The body of the film itself then explains how the events depicted in the beginning came to be. Though the film follows many of the different leaders of the FLN, the one main continuous factor is in the character La Pointe who consistently appears throughout the entire length of the film.

The beauty of the film is how the explosion sequences were understated. For example, when the three women dress French and plant bombs within the European quarter, we have slow tension filled moments from beginning to end. The only chaotic action occurs only when the bombs go off and the Europeans are scrambling. These is very similar to other instances of actions throughout the film.

The final ending was rather weird. The last three minutes were an epilogue that seemed very much like an afterthought. They appeared to throw it in there so the film would not end on a horrendously depressing note. It prompted me to want to research more about the events that did happen, but it seemed very out of place.

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