The Battle of Algiers (1966)

Posted By: Mindsnatcher
The Battle of Algiers (1966)

The Battle of Algiers (1966)
The Criterion Collection | "La battaglia di Algeri" (original title)
1080p Blu-rayRip | MKV | AVC @ 8.59 Mbps, 23.976 fps | 1920 x 1024 | 2 hr 1 min | 7.64 GB
Audio : French LPCM (AC-3) Mono 48kHz, 24-bit @ 192 Kbps | Subtitle: English
Director: Gillo Pontecorvo | Country: France
Genre: Crime, Drama, History


The Battle of Algiers (1966)
The Battle of Algiers (1966)
The Battle of Algiers (1966)
The Battle of Algiers (1966)
The Battle of Algiers (1966)

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Despite winning the prestigious Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival in 1966, Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers remained banned in France and Britain until 1971. Before and after the film's premiere in Italy, various French politicians had expressed concerns over its support of the Algerian resistance, while the leaders of prominent right-wing organization had issued official warnings to theater managers across France not to include the film in their plans if they wished to stay in business. Today the "Algerian issue" remains a touchy subject for many French politicians - and especially those on the right, such as Jean Marie Le Pen, the founder of the popular National Front, who believes that France needs to purge itself because immigrants from its former colonies are changing its identity. Pontecorvo's film chronicles the final days of French rule in Algeria, France's oldest major colony. It is based on a book by Saadi Yacef, the military leader of the Algerian Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN), who was captured by the French army in 1957 and later on sentenced to death. While in prison, Yacef described his experiences during the war. The film resembles a documentary feature one is likely to see on CNN. It is divided into various uneven episodes, each highlighting important locations, dates, and events. Some of the episodes also feature short commentaries. The focus of attention is primarily on the formation and establishment of the FLN - a powerful organization with strategically positioned cells operating across the Casbah, the poorest quarter of Algiers. From the Casbah, the cells launch a series of attacks against the wealthier Christian quarter and later on specific military targets all across Algiers. The killings are often very graphic and the explosions shockingly realistic. A special note at the end of the film, however, clarifies that "not even one foot of newsreel or documentary film is included in this picture". What makes the film so fascinating to behold is its incredibly accurate description of what is essentially a terrorist (by way of functionality) organization, from its "head", the Executive Bureau, down to its individual cells, whose members are intentionally kept unaware of each others' existence. Sad but true: Al-Queda's structure very much reminds about FLN's. The FLN and the disturbing actions of its members are portrayed in a very positive light. Naturally, depending on one's political orientation, today the FLN members could be seen either as freedom fighters or terrorists. During the 1960s, the popular notion was that the FLN members were freedom fighters. Ultimately, Pontecorvo's film feels just as relevant today - with the conflicts in the Palestinian territories, Afghanistan, and Iraq looking disturbingly similar to the one chronicled in the film - as it was some forty-five years ago. All of the knowledge channeled through it reflects what we have come to know about contemporary organized terrorism. Only the definitions and labels we use are different, as political correctness dictates they should be. Note: In 1967, The Battle of Algiers was nominated for Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film (Italy). Two years later, it was again nominated for Oscar awards for Best Director (Gillo Pontecorvo) and Best Writing, Story and Screenplay - Written Directly for the Screen (Franco Solinas and Gillo Pontecorvo).

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