One thing that is amazing about La Bataglia d'Algeri (or The Battle of Algiers) is how amazingly well it lures you into caring so much exactly what happens to its Muslim Revolutionaries while giving them little to no screen time. The main character "Ali La Pointe" hardly says anything throughout the entire film, but we sit on the edge of our seats wondering what will happen to him next.
The film was made by Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo, with the enormous cooperation of the Algerian government. Pontecorvo also hired Italian composer Ennio Morricone for scoring the film's music, which is based on traditional Muslim folk songs (Pontecorvo had been impressed with Morricone's score for "A Few Dollars More") One of the main actors of the film, Saadi Yacef, essentially played himself under a different name, and was also the one who wrote the autobiographical book on which the film was based. The film was shot in documentary style black and white, hand-held looking. One of the more amazing things about this film is that not a single bit of documentary or newsreel footage was used in this film, which the credits points out. Its almost hard to believe the whole film isn't a documentary. You see shots of bombs going off at derby's that look so realistic you wonder how dangerous they are.
The film was nominated for Oscars for best director, screenplay, and foreign film. It also won the FIPRESCI prize and Golden Lion at the
The film follows, from 1954 to the liberation of
Eventually the paratroopers are brought in to crush the opposition, and the character of Colonel Mathieu is played by the only major French actor who would work on this film, Jean Martin. Martin mostly acted on stage, this was his first major film role. He was strongly against the French in
Ever since the War in