IMDb Top 250: #244 The Battle of Algiers

The Battle of Algiers (1966)

Director: Gillo Pontecorvo
Writers: Franco Solinas, Franco Solinas (story) (as F. Solinas)
Stars: Brahim Hadjadj, Jean Martin, Yacef Saadi

In the 1950s, fear and violence escalate as the people of Algiers fight for independence from the French government.


Truth be told, I’ve never been a big fan of war movies. Or black and white movies. Or foreign movies. And this one’s all three. But three’s a charm, as they say, so maybe it works like that. I was pleasantly surprised by this film. Truly.

It’s a masterpiece of cinematography in terms of technique and all that. Quite interesting. You know that thing they do now where all the creatures of the Universe speak perfect English? Well, in this movie, the French speak… wait for it… French. Who would have thought, right? There’s a plot twist for you.

Also, this movie starts in media res, which is one of my favorite ways to start anything.

It’s like a glimpse from the past. From a different world. Inhabited by people who are different than us, but similar on different levels. The fight for freedom, something most of us take for granted nowadays, it’s something we should never, ever take for granted.

Quite an interesting movie. Well worth watching.


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