The Battle of Algiers

(La battaglia di Algeri)

New 4K Digital Restoration

  • Prerecorded Video Introduction

    Carmine-Emanuele Cella is Associate Professor in Music and Technology at UC Berkeley, where he is also lead researcher at the Center for New Music and Audio Technology.


Brahim Haggiag, Saadi Yacef, 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. Gillo 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. Along with choral music, organ, and Algerian drumming, Ennio Morricone’s score uses a propulsive snare drum–backed theme to represent the French occupying forces, while Ali’s lyrical theme originates on the pan flute, evoking the breath, body, and humanity of the struggle. “Because of its perfect fusion of form and content, this is one of the most strikingly successful subversive films ever made” (Amos Vogel).

  • Gillo Pontecorvo
  • Franco Solinas
  • Marcello Gatti
  • French
  • Arabic
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • DCP
  • 121 mins
  • Cinecittà
  • Janus Films
Additional Info
  • 4K digital restoration by Cinecittà and Cineteca di Bologna

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