The Battle of Algiers
(1966, Gillo Pontecorvo) 1957: French paratroopers inch their way through the labyrinthine byways of the Casbah to zero in on the hideout of the last rebel still free in the city. Flashback three years earlier, as the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) decides on urban warfare. Thus begin the provocations, assassinations, hair-breadth escapes, and reprisals; Algerian women – disguised as chic Europeans – depositing bombs at a sidewalk café, a teen hang-out and an Air France office; and massive, surging crowd scenes unfolding with gripping realism. FLN boss/producer Saadi Yacef (who also plays the rebel leader based on himself) interviewed several European filmmakers before settling on Italians Pontecorvo and screenwriter Franco Solinas, with sequences shot and edited to the driving score by Pontecorvo and the legendary Ennio Morricone. Algiers feels like it's been ripped from today's headlines, from its random bombings to the French commander's chilling press conference pronouncement that to combat terrorism "you must accept all the consequences." Oscar-nominated for Best Foreign Film, Best Screenplay, and Best Director, and winner of the Golden Lion (Grand Prix) at the Venice Film Festival. In Arabic and French, with English subtitles. DCP. Approx. 121 min.
Venue: Film Forum
209 West Houston Street Map
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