Tracing the struggle of the Algerian Front de Liberation Nationale to gain freedom from French colonial rule as seen through the eyes of Ali. From his start as a petty thief to his rise to prominence in the organisation and capture by the French in 1957.
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A European country invades and subjects another country to decades of violence and people are concerned with citizens of Algeria being shown as too noble? Fucking absurd man. This obsession with even-handedness and neutrality never serves to help or defend people who need help the most.
No other political documentary in the last 40 years bears the same power to move you. An absolute pinnacle of cinema made strategically for social change. Ali La Pointe (Brahim Haggiag), Colonel Mathieu (Jean Martin), El-hadi Jaffar (Saadi Yacef) put me in Algiers in 1960s and made me more aware of many struggles happening in the world today.
Essential viewing experience for all. Key film of the sixties reflecting not just the political struggle in Algeria but the political consciousness of a generation. Film connects on so many levels and is still unfortanately totally relevant today. Pontecorvo's docu-style delivery here transports the viewer directly into the events unfolding. It reallly doesn't get much better. The music score is perfection.
A fascinating film by a fascinating man. He took his political convictions and based them in lyrical images, creating poetry...he put a face to a cause and he did not skirt problematic topics. Battle of Algiers is strong as steel: its influence continues to set the standard for all filmmakers.
If Griffith hadn't already used the title, Pontecorvo would have liked to call this masterpiece The Birth of a Nation because essentially that's what it is; a semi-documentary reconstruction of the events leading up to Algerian liberation. The film is fair to both sides in the conflict but is nevertheless on the side of the guerillas and the presentation of the facts, as well as the incidents of battle, is masterly..
A hallmark of world political cinema, it also works as a smart and tightly-plotted thriller. The authentic locations and highly influential documentary-style filmmaking create a bristling realism, though it could have been more effective if it focused more on characters than on politics. Great score by Ennio Morricone.