One of the most influential political films in history, Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers (La bataille d’Alger) vividly recreates a key year in the tumultuous Algerian struggle for independence from the occupying French in the 1950s. As violence escalates on both sides, children shoot soldiers at point-blank range, women plant bombs in cafés, and French soldiers resort to torture to break the will of the insurgents. Shot in the streets of Algiers in documentary style, the film is a case study in modern warfare, with its terrorist attacks and the brutal techniques used to combat them. The Criterion Collection is proud to present Gillo Pontecorvo’s tour de force—a film with astonishing relevance today. —The Criterion Collection
The controversial yet brilliant Italian-born director Gillo Pontecorvo is perhaps best known for authoring The Battle of Algiers (1966). This ingenious film — with its use of docudrama techniques and stark black-and-white photography to capture the French-Algerian conflict — instantly became the toast of the Venice Film Festival and a seminal classic. A militant leftist and lifelong member of the Communist Party, Pontecorvo stirred up controversy and indignation for years with his extremist sociopolitical views. Cinematically, the extreme infrequency with which Pontecorvo crafted motion pictures (with years of inactivity between projects) renders him one of the least prolific international directors of five-star caliber in modern history, placing him in the same camp as Terrence Malick.
Born in Pisa, Italy, on November 19, 1919, to a Jewish family (with nine brothers and sisters and an industrialist father), young Gillo cut against the grain of familial tradition; the rest of… read more
This is great postcolonial cinema. The documentary-like style gives this film its sheer realism and brutal honesty. The horrid torture scenes were especially hard to watch. This film might just be an abundance of mere images but it's still the representation of something that really happened. It makes you think about the world. Although this film was made decades ago, it is still painfully relevant.
A grim and haunting portrait of how human nature responds to being wronged. La Battaglia di Algeri is a vast film that intricately shows the beginnings of the revolution of Algeria. You, as the audience… read review
The first thought that crossed my head while viewing Gillo Pontecorvo’s masterpiece, “The Battle of Algiers”, was “Damn! this is awesome!”. The film follows the Algerian National Liberation Front… read review
Quite simply one of the best films ever made, The Battle of Algiers is a testament to great filmmaking. It is among the most bone-chilling and provocative films I’ve ever seen. And it is remarkably… read review