La battaglia di Algeri

In 1966, a film was released that would go on to become one of the most significant political films of all time. "La battaglia di Algeri," or "The Battle of Algiers," is a powerful and moving portrayal of the Algerian War of Independence against French colonial rule. The film depicts the conflict between the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) and the French army, and the brutal tactics used by both sides in the battle for Algiers.

But beyond its depiction of warfare, "La battaglia di Algeri" is a cinematic masterpiece that explores themes of power, resistance, and the human cost of conflict. It raises important questions about the morality of violence and the use of force in the pursuit of political goals, questions that remain relevant to this day.

In this blog post, we will delve into the historical context of the Algerian War and the making of "La battaglia di Algeri." We will explore the film's impact on cinema and its lasting legacy in politics and culture. We will also examine the ethical questions raised by the film and its relevance to contemporary issues of colonialism, terrorism, and political resistance.

Through our analysis of "La battaglia di Algeri," we hope to shed light on the complex and often fraught relationship between art and politics. We will examine how this film has inspired generations of filmmakers and activists, and how it continues to challenge us to think critically about power, violence, and the struggle for freedom.

So come with us on a journey through one of the most influential films of the 20th century, and discover why "La battaglia di Algeri" remains as relevant and powerful today as it was over 50 years ago.


I'm sure you will also enjoy the following films:

TitleRelease YearDirectorIMDB Rating
The Battle of Algiers1966Gillo Pontecorvo8.1
Z1969Costa-Gavras8.1
The Official Story1985Luis Puenzo7.8
No2012Pablo Larraín7.5
The Baader Meinhof Complex2008Uli Edel7.4

"The Battle of Algiers" is a 1966 movie directed by Gillo Pontecorvo that tells the story of the Algerian War for independence against French colonial rule in the 1950s and early 1960s. The film is based on real events and features a cast of mostly non-professional actors, which adds to the authenticity of the story.

Plot Summary:

The movie is divided into three parts, each one focusing on a different phase of the conflict. The first part shows the early days of the Algerian struggle, when the National Liberation Front (FLN) started to carry out a series of bombings and attacks against French interests in Algiers. The second part depicts the French response, as they send in paratroopers to hunt down the FLN leaders and suppress the rebellion. The third part shows the final phase of the war, as the FLN moves its operations to the countryside and the French resort to brutal tactics to defeat them.

Impressions:

"The Battle of Algiers" is a masterpiece of cinema that has been praised for its realism, its political relevance, and its technical achievements. The movie uses a documentary style of filmmaking that blends newsreel footage with staged scenes to create a sense of immediacy and urgency. The performances are outstanding, especially by Brahim Hadjadj, who plays the FLN leader Ali La Pointe, and Jean Martin, who plays Colonel Mathieu, the French commander. The cinematography by Marcello Gatti is also remarkable, as he captures the chaos and violence of the conflict with a handheld camera and natural lighting.

Strong Points:

One of the strongest points of "The Battle of Algiers" is its ability to show both sides of the conflict without taking a moral stance. The movie portrays the FLN fighters as heroic freedom fighters and the French soldiers as professional soldiers doing their duty. It also shows the atrocities committed by both sides, including torture, bombings, and assassinations. This neutrality makes the movie even more powerful, as it allows the audience to make their own judgments about the war.

Weak Points:

One of the weak points of the movie is its lack of character development. The main characters are not fully fleshed out, and the audience does not get to know them on a personal level. This is understandable, given the documentary style of the movie, but it also makes it harder to emotionally connect with the characters.

Conclusion:

Overall, "The Battle of Algiers" is a must-see movie for anyone interested in history, politics, or cinema. It is a powerful and thought-provoking film that raises important questions about colonialism, nationalism, and violence. Its influence can be seen in many other movies and TV shows that deal with similar themes, such as "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Homeland." I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about this important moment in world history.


As a huge fan of classic movies, I recently had the pleasure of watching the 1969 film "Z." Directed by Costa-Gavras, this political thriller is based on the real-life assassination of Greek politician Grigoris Lambrakis.

Plot Summary

The film follows the investigation into the murder of Lambrakis, who was known for his anti-war activism. The government and military officials are initially reluctant to take action, but a prosecutor named Z (played by Yves Montand) becomes determined to uncover the truth behind the assassination. As he digs deeper, he uncovers a vast conspiracy involving politicians, the military, and even members of the police force.

Impressions

One of the things that struck me about "Z" is how relevant it still feels today, despite being over 50 years old. The themes of government corruption, censorship, and the struggle for justice are all still incredibly pertinent. The film also has a sense of urgency and tension that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout.

Strong Points

The performances in this film are fantastic, particularly from Montand and Irene Papas (who plays Lambrakis' widow). The direction and cinematography are also top-notch, with some truly striking visuals that add to the film's overall impact. The script is also incredibly well-written, with a tight plot and plenty of twists and turns.

Weak Points

If I had to nitpick, I would say that some of the supporting characters feel a bit underdeveloped. However, this is a minor issue in an otherwise excellent film.

Final Thoughts

Overall, "Z" is a must-watch for anyone who enjoys political thrillers or is interested in the history of activism and government corruption. It's a well-crafted and thought-provoking film that still feels incredibly relevant today. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys classic cinema.


I recently watched the 1985 movie "The Official Story" and I must say, it left quite an impression on me. The movie, directed by Luis Puenzo, is a powerful and emotional portrayal of the atrocities committed during Argentina's Dirty War.

Plot Summary:

The story is set in Buenos Aires, where a wealthy history teacher named Alicia (played by Norma Aleandro) finds out that her adopted daughter was actually taken from a family that was killed during the Dirty War. As she tries to unravel the truth about her daughter's past, she begins to question her own beliefs and values.

Strong Points:

The acting in this movie is phenomenal. Norma Aleandro delivers a powerful performance as a woman torn between her privileged life and the harsh realities of her country's history. The cinematography is also excellent, capturing the beauty of Buenos Aires while also depicting the darkness and brutality of the Dirty War.

Weak Points:

While the movie does an excellent job of portraying the emotional toll that the Dirty War took on the people of Argentina, it does not provide much historical context for those who may be unfamiliar with the country's history. Some viewers may find it difficult to fully understand the significance of certain events without prior knowledge of Argentina's political climate.

Personal Opinion:

Overall, I highly recommend "The Official Story" to anyone interested in political dramas or historical films. It is a powerful and thought-provoking movie that will leave you thinking long after the credits roll. The cast is exceptional, the cinematography is stunning, and the story is both heartbreaking and inspiring. It is a must-see for any movie lover who appreciates a good story with a strong message.

Subheadings:

1. Plot Summary
2. Strong Points
3. Weak Points
4. Personal Opinion


As a fan of political documentaries, I was excited to watch the 2012 release "No" directed by Pablo Larraín. The movie was set during the 1988 Chilean national plebiscite, where citizens had to vote either "yes" or "no" to extend the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.

Plot Summary

The movie follows René Saavedra, a young advertising executive who is hired to create a campaign for the "No" vote. Despite facing various challenges from the government, René and his team come up with a creative and optimistic campaign that resonates with the people of Chile. As the election draws closer, tensions rise, and René finds himself in danger for his involvement in the campaign.

Impressions

The movie was shot in a documentary style, with a mix of archival footage and reenactments that made it feel authentic. The director's decision to shoot on a low-resolution camera added to the '80s feel of the movie, and the use of bright colors in the "No" campaign scenes was visually striking.

Strong Points

The standout feature of the movie was the performances by the cast, especially Gael García Bernal, who played the lead character, René Saavedra. Bernal brought a certain charm and wit to the character that made him likable, relatable, and gave the audience someone to root for. The supporting cast also did an excellent job of portraying the different characters involved in the campaign, including those who were against it.

Weak Points

One of the weaknesses of the movie was that it felt slow at times, with some scenes dragging on longer than necessary. Additionally, the movie focused too much on the advertising campaign, and not enough on the political and social issues at hand. Although the movie was set during a significant period in Chilean history, it felt like a missed opportunity to explore the broader context of the country's political situation.

Personal Opinion

Overall, "No" was an enjoyable and informative movie that shed light on an important moment in Chilean history. The movie's unique style, great performances, and captivating story made it a must-watch for anyone interested in political documentaries. However, the movie's slow pace and lack of focus on the broader political context of the era were shortcomings that could have been improved upon.


"The Baader Meinhof Complex" is a German movie released in 2008. The movie is directed by Uli Edel and tells the story of the left-wing militant group called the Red Army Faction (RAF), also known as the Baader-Meinhof Group. The movie focuses on the events that led to the formation of the group, their terrorist activities, and the eventual downfall of the group.

Plot Summary

The movie begins in the late 1960s, where we see a group of young Germans protesting against the Vietnam War and the West German government's support of it. The group, led by Andreas Baader (Moritz Bleibtreu) and Ulrike Meinhof (Martina Gedeck), soon turns to violence and starts a campaign of bombings and assassinations. The group's actions become more and more extreme, and they become the most wanted terrorists in Germany.

Impressions

"The Baader Meinhof Complex" is a well-made movie that captures the spirit of the times it portrays. The movie is well-acted, with Moritz Bleibtreu and Martina Gedeck delivering particularly strong performances. The movie is also well-directed, with Uli Edel capturing the tension and urgency of the group's actions.

Strong points

One of the strongest points of the movie is its portrayal of the Baader-Meinhof Group. The movie does not shy away from showing the group's violent actions, but it also shows the group's idealism and their belief that they were fighting against an unjust system. The movie also does a good job of showing the complex relationships between the different members of the group and the tensions that arise within the group.

Weak points

One of the weaknesses of the movie is that it can be hard to keep track of all the different characters and their relationships to each other. The movie also does not provide much context for the events it portrays, which could make it difficult for viewers who are not familiar with German history to fully understand what is happening.

Personal opinion

Overall, I thought "The Baader Meinhof Complex" was a well-made and engaging movie. While it could have provided more context for those not familiar with German history, the movie's strong performances and direction more than make up for any shortcomings. I would recommend this movie to anyone who is interested in political thrillers or German history.