« Home | eXistenZ (1999) » | X2 (2003) » | A History of Violence (2005) » | Munich (2005) » | North Country (2005) » | The Squid and the Whale (2005) » | Howl's Moving Castle (2005) » | 12 Angry Men (1957) » | The King of Kings (1927) » | Paradise Now (2005) »

The Battle of Algiers (1966)

The mishmash of production values cobbled together to form the riveting political docudrama The Battle of Algiers is fitting in that it suggests the film itself is a product of revolution. Observing with equal intensity and human regard the opposing sides involved in the revolution against the French occupation of Algiers (officially known as the Algerian War of Independence) from 1954 to 1962, the film takes an objective look at the nature of terrorism and revolution amidst the social and political chaos in this modern world. A slight sympathy is lent to the Algerian rebels - appropriate in the light that the French occupation was truly an act of oppressive imperialism - but even then the film doesn’t shy away from the callous moral implications put forth by rebels ordered to plant bombs amidst crowded public locations (the documentary-like approach reaches it's most tense and gripping during these scenes of impending death). Both sides exchange various forms of violence in a continuing cycle: guerilla strikes and attacks against French officers lead to more aggressive safety measures that further oppress the people’s culture and religion. With neither side showing any sign of giving up, the bodies continue to mount on both sides, many of them innocent civilians willingly sacrificed as violent leverage in the name of war. Perhaps most illuminating is how The Battle of Algiers looks at the goings-on of revolution on both an all-encompassing and microcosmic level; as critical as a successful worker’s strike against the government is to the movement's influence, the actions of many individuals are just as crucial to the life blood of the resistance. With every attack and demonstration recreated with gritty realism, the film is a telling capsule on the nature of humanity within the constraints of political mire; one cannot watch without recognizing the parallels with the current U.S. occupation of Iraq and the ongoing struggle between the stationed troops and a minority of displeased insurgents. For those who feel that current situation is a fruitless effort to spread democracy to other regions of the world, one only need look at this film for proof of history’s tendency to repeat itself.

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Just goes to prove that some things are human nature and do not change. Like the struggle between the occupied and occupiers. Here is what I have to say about the Battle of Algiers.

Post a Comment