The Algerian-French war is depicted in the film Battle of Algiers

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The Algerian-French war is depicted in the film Battle of Algiers. The film depicts the Algerian uprising against French colonization in the city of Algiers (Hermida& Alfred 45). I see a direct link between the fighting and the ongoing anti-terrorist campaign. The French army is already armed as they try to talk Ali and his family out of their hiding place at the start of the film. The film then flashes back to the beginning of the Algerian revolution against the French as they attempted to achieve independence.
In Algeria's French region, around the Casbah, women are used to planting bombs (Pontecorvo et al. 24). The bombs destroy property and kill innocent French families. This was an act of the Algerians attempting to take back these parts of the country. The French soldiers trying to gain control and submission uses excess force and torture. This inhumane acts employed by both sides of the fighters makes me realize the importance of independence to the Algerian people and the inhumanity of the colonizers.

The basis of the war was guerilla warfare by the Algerian fighters, and in most cases, it’s the innocent that were hurt(Feraoun, Mouloud& James 153). Which makes me wonder why the innocents were sacrificed. The innocents were targeted to ensure that they ultimately expressed the extent of their grievance. The French also exhibited torture towards the Algerians. Both sides were blinded with their objectives and as a result was involved in acts of terrorism. This makes me wonder where does freedom fighting end, and where does terrorism start. From the view of those who suffer the attacks, freedom fighters can be seen as terrorists. This makes me feel that sometimes the intention of the war is not considered as both sides fight to obtain their objectives.

The film depicts the situation of colonization and some of the effects of discrimination(Tsutsumi et al 345). The Arabs are mainly engaged in manual labor and are made to live in concentration under restrictions. In cases where the Arabs are allowed to work with the French men, they work as subordinate. On the other hand, the Europeans live and work in a modern city with a lot of civilization and are enjoying a great monopoly. The French also treat the Algerians with a lot of arrogance and disregard. This makes me realize the reason behind the Arabs fighting with so much determination.

The battle continues with the Algerian fighters, fighting with great determination. The French attempting to weaken them decides to kill the leaders of the revolt. This works against the expectations of the French as the rebellion gets even more intense(Pontecorvo et al 346). The happiness on the French side is seen to diminish as they lose the war against the Arabs and they are forced to grant the independence. On the Arabs’ side, the end is the happiest moment since they have acquired their freedom and the lost lives are seen to have been a good course. This makes me realize the power of determination.


The Battle of Algiers film documents the uprising that the Algerians staged against the French colonial rule. The film makes us realize what happened during the colonial times, the process of the fight for independence and the final grant of freedom to the Algerians. From the film, one can realize what transpired in the colonial age.

Works cited

Feraoun, Mouloud, and James D. Le Sueur, eds. Journal, 1955-1962: reflections on the French-Algerian war. U of Nebraska Press, 2000.

Hermida, Alfred. "The battle of Algiers." Africa Report 39.1 (1994): 42.

Kaufman, Michael T. "The World: Film Studies; What Does the Pentagon See in'Battle of Algiers'?." New York Times 7 (2003).

Pontecorvo, Gillo, et al. The battle of Algiers. Criterion collection, 1966.

Tsutsumi, Kimitaka, Kazutaka Shimada, and Tsutomu Endo. "Movie Review Classification Based on a Multiple Classifier." PACLIC. 2007.

December 15, 2021


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