The Battle of Algiers (La Battaglia di Algeri) Reviews

  • May 25, 2019

    Horrifyingly prescient, and frighteningly relevant right now. On-location docu-style totally makes you believe you're there. Charismatic, 99% non-actor cast; and the one pro was an ex-French Resistance soldier (who is convincing and even a little noble). Morricone score. And if there's any doubt where the filmmakers' sympathies lie, well, the FLN terrorists are way cooler and better-looking than the French.

    Horrifyingly prescient, and frighteningly relevant right now. On-location docu-style totally makes you believe you're there. Charismatic, 99% non-actor cast; and the one pro was an ex-French Resistance soldier (who is convincing and even a little noble). Morricone score. And if there's any doubt where the filmmakers' sympathies lie, well, the FLN terrorists are way cooler and better-looking than the French.

  • May 01, 2019

    An interesting film almost documenting the strategies one would take to start a terrorist organization and how to take one down. Score is just one song from Ennio Morricone that gets repeated.

    An interesting film almost documenting the strategies one would take to start a terrorist organization and how to take one down. Score is just one song from Ennio Morricone that gets repeated.

  • Feb 15, 2019

    The Battle of Algiers is not an easy movie to watch, and you can tell that’s going to be the case early on because we start the film watching someone who is tortured for information. It’s not terribly graphic in the depiction of torture, but seeing the effects on the actor made it feel visceral and real. The story is then told in flashback from that moment and presents the battle between insurgent rebels and the French government. It is a brutal war filled with horrible bombings and assassinations. It feels reminiscent of stories we hear from American military activities in the Middle East, so there’s a timely parallel that we can draw from this film. It also can re-contextualize some of those things we see in the modern day because in this film the insurgents are the more sympathetic characters. I’m intrigued by this kind of movie because it begs the question from the viewer, “Have we become the bad guys?” The film gives us a look inside the war they are waging and the lengths the rebels have to go to in order to fight for their homeland. The flow of the film reflects the events of the actual war with attacks going back and forth between the two sides, often escalating to more extremes as time marches on. I thought it was interesting how the rebels took advantage of assumptions that the French made about them in order to hide and perpetrate sneak attacks. The Battle of Algiers is an effective film at presenting the horrors of this kind of war, and how the value of human life diminishes so dramatically when you view those humans as “the enemy.” I don’t like this kind of dark and dismal war film all that much, so I would never say I enjoyed The Battle of Algiers. And even more problematic for me is the fact that I wasn’t drawn to any of the characters presented in the film, so I struggled to form emotional investment. Of course, the brutality of war is upsetting, but I wish there were one person that I cared about more so I could focus my concern on that one life amongst all the horrible bloodshed. That being said, while The Battle of Algiers isn’t my cup of tea, it is still a powerful film for those that are interested in this kind of war story.

    The Battle of Algiers is not an easy movie to watch, and you can tell that’s going to be the case early on because we start the film watching someone who is tortured for information. It’s not terribly graphic in the depiction of torture, but seeing the effects on the actor made it feel visceral and real. The story is then told in flashback from that moment and presents the battle between insurgent rebels and the French government. It is a brutal war filled with horrible bombings and assassinations. It feels reminiscent of stories we hear from American military activities in the Middle East, so there’s a timely parallel that we can draw from this film. It also can re-contextualize some of those things we see in the modern day because in this film the insurgents are the more sympathetic characters. I’m intrigued by this kind of movie because it begs the question from the viewer, “Have we become the bad guys?” The film gives us a look inside the war they are waging and the lengths the rebels have to go to in order to fight for their homeland. The flow of the film reflects the events of the actual war with attacks going back and forth between the two sides, often escalating to more extremes as time marches on. I thought it was interesting how the rebels took advantage of assumptions that the French made about them in order to hide and perpetrate sneak attacks. The Battle of Algiers is an effective film at presenting the horrors of this kind of war, and how the value of human life diminishes so dramatically when you view those humans as “the enemy.” I don’t like this kind of dark and dismal war film all that much, so I would never say I enjoyed The Battle of Algiers. And even more problematic for me is the fact that I wasn’t drawn to any of the characters presented in the film, so I struggled to form emotional investment. Of course, the brutality of war is upsetting, but I wish there were one person that I cared about more so I could focus my concern on that one life amongst all the horrible bloodshed. That being said, while The Battle of Algiers isn’t my cup of tea, it is still a powerful film for those that are interested in this kind of war story.

  • May 09, 2018

    So amazingly good. Just so so so so so good.

    So amazingly good. Just so so so so so good.

  • Mar 19, 2018

    The intensity of this movie is off the charts. The director's does an outstanding job .

    The intensity of this movie is off the charts. The director's does an outstanding job .

  • Nov 04, 2017

    Screened at Pentagon in 2003 as an introspection for the U.S. military at the height of Iraq War, Gillo Pontecorvo's acutely harrowing reenactment of the titular urban terrorist insurgency presents imageries of frightful realism and a valuable lecture on how the global war on terrorism can succeed tactically but fails strategically.

    Screened at Pentagon in 2003 as an introspection for the U.S. military at the height of Iraq War, Gillo Pontecorvo's acutely harrowing reenactment of the titular urban terrorist insurgency presents imageries of frightful realism and a valuable lecture on how the global war on terrorism can succeed tactically but fails strategically.

  • Sep 18, 2017

    This is an influential film in the way of how it sacrificed character development in service of showing the events in the film on a much larger scale: The numerous sequences where Ali wasn't present highlighted this. I also loved how it appeared to have a 2 act structure, the first of which showing their rebellion starting off successfully while the 2nd half showed the government's response (this was so compelling due to the documentary feel of it).

    This is an influential film in the way of how it sacrificed character development in service of showing the events in the film on a much larger scale: The numerous sequences where Ali wasn't present highlighted this. I also loved how it appeared to have a 2 act structure, the first of which showing their rebellion starting off successfully while the 2nd half showed the government's response (this was so compelling due to the documentary feel of it).

  • Jul 17, 2017

    The Battle of Algiers is frighteningly realistic and more than half a century later is still relevant as it mirrors the U.S.'s own struggles in its War on Terror. The film is more action driven than character driven, which works somehow in this historical film, partly due to the documentary style and the naturalistic performances. Notable early soundtrack from Ennio Morricone.

    The Battle of Algiers is frighteningly realistic and more than half a century later is still relevant as it mirrors the U.S.'s own struggles in its War on Terror. The film is more action driven than character driven, which works somehow in this historical film, partly due to the documentary style and the naturalistic performances. Notable early soundtrack from Ennio Morricone.

  • Jun 29, 2017

    Raw,fear documentary style of this masterpiece of the uprising in Algeria Back then

    Raw,fear documentary style of this masterpiece of the uprising in Algeria Back then

  • Mar 24, 2017

    What a powerful statement of a movie. This movie basically acts as a blueprint to how a community of people can regain their freedom and independence in their country. The whole plot and documentary-like cinematography are definitely something to get inspired by. Awesome movie!

    What a powerful statement of a movie. This movie basically acts as a blueprint to how a community of people can regain their freedom and independence in their country. The whole plot and documentary-like cinematography are definitely something to get inspired by. Awesome movie!