Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Algiers, dictatorship, film, colonialism, propaganda
The Battle of Algiers from a historical perspective does provide the view with a lot of attention to detail but it is a very simplistic in representing the national liberation struggle within Algeria and among the major groups, such as the FLN and MNA. Also missing is the French perspective be it in leadership circles or the intellectual circles that showed sympathy to the Algerian cause. The pied-noirs, although present in the film, are not provided any real depth or nuance aside from being portrayed also as victims within the cycle of violence in the colonial struggles. Yet while terrorism is justified so is torture as a horrific thing that still gets reliable information from suspects. Rejali reflects that with The Battle of Algiers shaped and reflected the memory and discussion about torture in modern times in a powerful way. "Too often," he writes, "recollect not actual events but these cultural artifacts. The themes of the film consciously are done to portray a unified force against colonialism in the urban context and with that there is historical context missing for the viewer.
Gardner, Caitlin, "The Battle of Algiers and the Dictatorship of Truth: How Crillo Pontecorvo Used Film as an Illusion to the Reality of a Dying Colonialism" (2012). Honors Theses. 821.