1943. More than 100,000 “indigenous” soldiers leave the French colonies of Algeria, Morocco and Senegal to liberate their “fatherland” from the Nazi enemy. Among these volunteers, Said – who enlisted mainly to escape poverty – leaves his home town in Algeria to fight for the French in the Second World War where he soon discovers the cultural and hierarchical hurdles he must overcome in order to succeed, indeed survive, in this brutal environment.
Joining ranks with other North African soldiers, Said is sent into numerous battles where the outcome is less than certain and it becomes clear preferential treatment is given to the mainlanders over the hard working Arabs.
Captain Martinez, Yassir, Messaoud, Abdelkader and Said are sent into dangerous territory with the promise of great reward. They must rely on each others strengths and support the members in need in order to survive with the hope to prosper from their courageous efforts. They fight in Italy, in Provence, in the Vosges mountains, until they find themselves being the only survivors of their unit to defend a small Alsacian village.
Their greatest fears become reality: can they depend on the word of their colonist superiors?
A tale of forgotten heroes, a moment in French and North African history that was long kept away from public attention.
Rachid Bouchareb (born September 1, 1959) is a French film director of Algerian descent.
Bouchareb was born near Paris. From 1977 to 1983, he worked as an assistant director for France’s state television production company, S.F.P. Subsequetly, he worked for broadcasters TF1 and Antenne 2. He formed a production company called 3B with his associate Jean Bréhat in 1988.
Bouchareb began making short films in the 1980s. His featured film debut came in 1985 with Baton Rouge. Since then his acclaimed films have included Dust of Life (which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 1995); Little Senegal (which was shown in competition at the 2001 Berlin Film Festival; and Days of Glory, which received the Best Foreign Language Film nomination in 2006 and also won prizes at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. Bouchareb’s films have a following amongst international cineastes.
His film, Hors-la-loi, competed for the Palme d’Or at the 2010 Cannes Film… read more
Displaying textual affinity to Denis’ Beau travail, Lee’s Miracle at St. Anna, Minghella’s English Patient, Bouchareb’s workmanlike sequencing of history goes beyond dramatisation to a cry for redress against injustice stemming from colonialism, in interactions towards ‘indigènes’ against a landscape of occupation and conflict. Beyond demonising one side while painting heroism on the other - rather, conflicted loyalty; permeating unease - while resisting pontificating or maudlin camaraderie for depictions with enough subtlety and conflict to engage on all fronts.
Days of Glory
Days of Glory is a 2006 war film directed by Rachid Bouchareb that follows the story of several African soldiers in World War II who have been recruited by the French to aid in… read review