La bataille d'Alger

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Summary

  • Dramatizes the harrowing events of 1957, a key year in Algeria's struggle for independence from France. Recreates the tumultuous Algerian uprising against the occupying French in the 1950s. As violence escalates on both sides, the French torture prisoners for information and the Algerians resort to terrorism in their quest for independence. Children shoot soldiers at point-blank range, women plant bombs in cafés. The French win the battle, but ultimately lose the war as the Algerian people demonstrate that they will no longer be suppressed.

Notes

  • Originally released as a motion picture in 1966.
  • Special features: Disc 1: theatrical and re-release trailers; production gallery. Disc 2: "Gillo Pontecorvo: the dictatorship of truth," a 37 min. documentary made in 1992 about Pontecorvo; Marxist poetry : the making of The battle of Algiers (51 min.); Spike Lee, Mira Nair, Julian Schnabel, Steven Soderbergh, and Oliver Stone discuss the film (17 min.). Disc 3: "Remembering history," a 69 min. documentary about the Algerian Revolution; "États d'armes," 28 min. of excerpts from Patrick Rotman's 3-part documentary, L'Ennemi Intime, which focuses on the horror of the Revolution; "The battle of Algiers, a case study" a 25 min. conversation about the contemporary relevance of The battle of Algiers between former National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism Richard A. Clarke, former State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Michael A. Sheehan, and Chief of Investigative Projects for ABC News, Christopher E. Isham; "Gillo Pontecorvo's Return to Algiers" (1992) (58 min.).
  • DVD, region 1, widescreen (1.85:1) presentation, Dolby Digital 1.0 mono.
  • French and Arabic dialogue, optional English subtitles.