October 17, 1961
(Nuit noire, 17 octobre 1961)
Clotilde Courau, Thierry Fortineau, Jean-Michel Portal, Ouassini Embarek,
One of contemporary Europe’s darkest moments—the 1961 massacre of Algerian protesters in Paris—is meticulously reconstructed in director Tasma’s docudrama, a France-set counterpoint to Gillo Pontecorvo’s legendary The Battle of Algiers. “The night that never existed,” October 17, 1961, was left out of French history books for over forty years. As the Algerian war came to its conclusion, the main Algerian nationalist group organized a massive demonstration in Paris against police repression and a local curfew; the chief of the Paris police (a man currently imprisoned for Vichy-era war crimes) responded by ordering a brutal crackdown.