The Battle Of Algiers (1966)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5

Original title:  La Battaglia Di Algeria

Italy/Algeria, 1966, .  Screenplay by Gillo Pontecorvo, .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by , Gillo Pontecorvo.  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Podcast:  My Criterions

This marvelous political drama uses not one single frame of stock footage in its telling, and yet you would swear it was a documentary. It takes place in Algeria during a time when its citizens grew weary of French rule and staged a revolution that led to the country’s independence in 1962. The film mainly concentrates on two characters, a rebel leader who symbolizes the people’s desire for freedom, and the French police colonel who has made it his personal mission to find the man and put an end to his rebellion. One suspense sequence after another follows at a perfectly rhythmic pace until the exciting and relieving conclusion; the editing is seamless and the acting is marvelous. This is one that fans of historical drama will definitely not want to miss.

The Criterion Collection:  #249

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Director (Gillo Pontecorvo); Best Original Story and Screenplay (1968); Best Foreign Language Film (1966)

Venice Film Festival AwardGolden Lion

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