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Battle of Algeria

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ritmo
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There’s always more than one side to a story. After watching Gilles Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers, I actually felt melancholy for the native Algerians and French even though they were fighting against each other. In the film, Pontecorvo depicts both sides suffering through so much during Algeria’s war for independence. I didn’t know of this war but the film opened my eyes to the discrepancy that was going on in Algeria at this time in history. The film takes place shortly after World War I, and you can see the distress within the people of Algeria. They were totally against imperialistic rule, and indeed they tried to overrule colonialism amongst themselves. The National Liberation Front also known as the FLN was a small group who took matters in their own hands. They had people set off bombs in crowded areas; however I didn’t understand the point of that because they were still killing innocent people by doing this. Yes the French did do horrific things to the Algerian women and children but two wrongs don’t make a right. I felt this wasn’t a smart idea on the FLN part yet again; things were different back then than how it is now. The French fought fire with more fire. I noticed that when there were scenes of the French armies approaching the sounds were different from scenes of the Algerians or the FLN. The scenes of the French army seemed dark and there were always gunshots in the background. To me those are common signs of war or that something evil is about to happen. Scenes of the Algerian people mostly consisted of people chanting and weeping. I remember a scene when the French army bombed a building that killed many people and I can hear the slow / sad music playing in the background. I felt sad watching that scene in class because I remembered seeing dozens of bodies being carried out. The type of music being played for each scene kind of forecasted what would happen next in each scene. The film The Battle of Algiers, greatly illustrated how times were like during the Algerian war of Independence. It was almost like the scenes were of actual fighting scenes that took place during this war. Gilles Pontecorvo did a great job of showing the French army and the Algerians/ FLN point of views.

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