Wednesday, January 21, 2015
The Battle of Algiers is unquestionably one of the most disturbing and impactful antiwar films of the 1960s. Based on events during the Algerian War (1954-62), the film focuses on the brutal titular battle, a long urban fight between French occupiers and Algerian guerrillas. Shot on location and bearing the influences of Italian neorealism (Roberto Rossellini in particular), Gillo Pontecorvo’s film was seen as an example of how to organize a guerrilla movement and of the methods used by the colonial powers to contain it during the years of anti-colonial struggles and national liberation movements. Once banned in France, it is today considered one of the great political films.