The Battle of Algiers - Criterion Collection (1967) USA
The Battle of Algiers - Criterion Collection Image Cover
Additional Images
Director:Gillo Pontecorvo
Producer:Yacef Saadi, Antonio Musu, Fred Baker
Writer:Gillo Pontecorvo, Franco Solinas
Rating:4.5 (106 votes)
Date Added:2007-10-19
Genre:Art House & International
Picture Format:Widescreen
Aspect Ratio:1.85:1
Languages:French, Arabic
Features:Box set, Black and White, Special Edition
Gillo Pontecorvo  ...  (Director)
Gillo Pontecorvo, Franco Solinas  ...  (Writer)
Ricky Bell  ...  Himself
Bobby Brown  ...  Himself (segments "Cool It Now" and "Mr. Telephone Man")
Ronald De Voe  ...  Himself
Johnny Gill  ...  Himself (segments "If It Isn't Love", "Can You Stand the Rain" and "I'm Still in Love With You")
Michael Lamone Bivins  ...  Himself
Ralph E. Tresvant  ...  Himself
Brahim Hadjadj  ...  
Jean Martin  ...  
Yacef Saadi  ...  
Samia Kerbash  ...  
Ugo Paletti  ...  
Marcello Gatti  ...  Cinematographer
Mario Morra  ...  Editor
Michael Lamont Bivins  ...  Himself (as Michael Bivins Lamont)
Ronnie DeVoe  ...  Himself (as Ronald De Voe)
Summary: Director Gillo Pontecorvo's 1966 movie "The Battle of Algiers" concerns the violent struggle in the late 1950s for Algerian independence from France, where the film was banned on its release for fear of creating civil disturbances. Certainly, the heady, insurrectionary mood of the film, enhanced by a relentlessly pulsating Ennio Morricone soundtrack, makes for an emotionally high temperature throughout. Decades later, the advent of the "war against terror" has only intensified the film's relevance.
Shot in a gripping, quasi-documentary style, "The Battle of Algiers" uses a cast of untrained actors coupled with a stern voiceover. Initially, the film focuses on the conversion of young hoodlum Ali La Pointe (Brahim Haggiag) to F.L.N. (the Algerian Liberation Front). However, as a sequence of outrages and violent counter-terrorist measures ensue, it becomes clear that, as in Eisenstein's "October", it is the Revolution itself that is the true star of the film.
Pontecorvo balances cinematic tension with grimly acute political insight. He also manages an evenhandedness in depicting the adversaries. He doesn't flinch from demonstrating the civilian consequences of the F.L.N.'s bombings, while Colonel Mathieu, the French office brought in to quell the nationalists, is played by Jean Martin as a determined, shrewd, and, in his own way, honorable man. However, the closing scenes of the movie--a welter of smoke, teeming street demonstrations, and the pealing white noise of ululations--leaves the viewer both intellectually and emotionally convinced of the rightfulness of the liberation struggle. This is surely among a handful of the finest movies ever made. "--David Stubbs"