Saturday, February 5, 2011

Last night I finally watched The Battle of Algiers. Brian loves this film and has been trying to get me to watch it for some time... with the current uprisings in the Middle East and a people's revolution in Tunisia and Egypt, he felt this was an appropriate movie to watch. He was right. It was as if we were watching an in-depth story covering the current happenings in Egypt just this past week. It was an incredible movie about the Algerian War (1954-62) between the occupying French and an anti-colonial Algerian independence movement:

"The Battle of Algiers reconstructs the events that occurred in the capital city of French Algeria between November 1954 and December 1960, during the Algerian War of Independence. The narrative begins with the organization of revolutionary cells in the Casbah. Then civil war between native Algerians and European settlers (pied-noirs) in which the sides exchange acts of increasing violence, leading to the introduction of French army paratroopers to hunt the National Liberation Front (FLN). The paratroopers are depicted as winning the battle by neutralizing the whole of the FLN leadership either through assassination or through capture. However, the film ends with a coda depicting demonstrations and rioting for independence by native Algerians, suggesting that in France having won the Battle of Algiers, she has lost the Algerian War." - The Battle of Algiers, Wikipedia

Not an easy film to watch, showing the horror of civilians being the targets of violence on both sides, it is incredible how applicable the story is today... after 60 years, history is repeating itself and events are unfolding in an all-to-familiar manner. I hope that the peaceful protests by the Egyptians will be heard and acted upon before a feeling of desperation becomes so intense that violence seems to be the only release valve.

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