The Battle of Algiers
(La battaglia di Algeri)
A masterpiece! Surely the most harrowing political epic ever.New Yorker
Brahim Haggiag, Yacef Saadi , Jean Martin, Tommaso Neri,
The first European film to treat the explosive subject of colonialism and wars of liberation, The Battle of Algiers probably remains the most powerful. Pontecorvo’s exciting reconstruction of the Algerian rebellion against the French centers on Ali La Pointe, the National Liberation Front leader who conducts the campaign of rebellion while dodging the relentless and merciless French Colonel Mathieu. A flashback format and newsreel “documentary” precision—though it was, incredibly, entirely staged—give a palpable sense of inevitability to the terrible violence, but also to its result. “Because of its perfect fusion of form and content, this is one of the most strikingly successful subversive films ever made” (Amos Vogel).