The film depicts an episode in the war of independence in the then French
The narrative is composed mostly of illustrations of the tactics of both the FLN insurgency and the French counter insurgency, as well as the uglier incidents in the national liberation struggle. It unflinchingly shows atrocities being committed by both sides against civilians. The FLN is shown taking over the Casbah through summary execution of native Algierian criminals and others considered traitors, as well as using terrorism to harass civilian French colonials. The French colonialists are shown using lynch mobs and indiscriminate violence against natives. Paratroops are shown employing torture, intimidation and murder to combat the FLN and MNA insurgents.
Refraining from the conventions of the historical epic, Pontecorvo and Solinas chose not to have a protagonist but several characters based on figures in the conflict. The film begins and ends from the point of view of Ali la Pointe, played by Brahim Hagiag, who corresponds to the historical figure of the same name. He is a criminal radicalized while in prison and is recruited to the FLN by military commander El-hadi Jafar, a fictional version of Saadi Yacef played by himself.
Other characters include the young boy Petit Omar, a street urchin who serves as a messenger for the FLN; Larbi Ben M'hidi, one of the top leaders of the FLN, who is used in the film mainly to give the political rationale for the insurgency; Djamila, Zohra and Hassiba, a trio of female FLN militants called to carry out a revenge attack. In addition, The Battle of Algiers used thousands of Algerian extras in bit parts and crowd shots; the effect Pontecorvo intended was to create the impression of the Casbah's residents as a "chorus", communicating to the viewer through chanting, wailing and physical affect.
The Algerian revolution has been called by many the bloodiest revolution in history. Although the revolutionary forces in
Runtime 121 min. Language : French / English / Arabic . Subtitles : Tamil
Venue : Ashwin Hospital Auditorium ( 4th floor - lift provided), Across Sathy Road, Ganapathy, Coimbatore 12 .
(Part of this write up is from http://en.wikipedia.org )
Gillo Pontecorvo and
The director of the Battle of Algiers, Gillo Pontecorvo was born into an Italian-Jewish family of
Pontecorvo wanted to shoot his film without using professional actors. Brahim Haggiag, who played Ali La Pointe, had a splendidly dramatic face, but he was a poor illiterate farmer whom Pontecorvo had found in a city market and who hadn’t the faintest idea what cinema was. If one has not seen this film, one cannot begin to imagine Pontecorvo’s extraordinary achievement. The acting is so natural and convincing that many viewers and even some critics assumed that the movie was a documentary. Only a master director could have taken this raw acting material and gotten such performances out of it. And despite his leftist viewpoint, Pontecorvo neither ridicules or demonizes the French.
(from http://www.lewrockwell.com/ )