“The Battle of Algiers” or “Let Me take You to the Cazbomb”

by Zenster on October 17, 2013

in Algeria, France, video and film, Zenster (team member)

Please be advised that for another four days, the classic movie, “The Battle of Algiers” (1966), is available for free at Hulu.com.

It is regarded as a vivd portrayal of Muslim resistance to colonial powers (i.e., African adventurism by France). The trivia posted at IMDB is very informative (if slightly slanted):

This film was very rarely shown in France until recently, and the torture scenes were cut in the US and UK.

In 2003, the New York Times reported that the Pentagon screened this film for officers and civilian experts who were discussing the challenges faced by the US military forces in Iraq. The flier inviting guests to the screening read: “How to win a battle against terrorism and lose the war of ideas“.

The only film in Oscar history to be a nominee in two separate non-consecutive years. It was a foreign film nominee for 1966, and then a nominee for screenplay and direction for 1968.

The character of Col. Matthieu is loosely based on the real life General Jacques Massu. Right-wing elements in the French Army, led by General Massu seized power in Algiers and threatened to conduct an assault on Paris, involving paratroopers and armored forces based at Rambouillet, unless Charles de Gaulle was placed in charge of the Republic of France.

According to French government figures, there were 236,000 Algerian Muslims serving in the French Army in 1962 (four times more than in the FLN), either in regular units (Spahis and Tirailleurs) or as irregulars (harkis and moghaznis). Some estimates suggest that, with their families, the indigenous Muslim loyalists may have numbered as many as 1 million. They are not portrayed in this film.

The film is based in part on the memoirs of Yacef Saadi, who wrote them in prison after serving as a leader for the historical NLF. [emphasis added]

Torture scenes excised? “How to win a battle against terrorism and lose the war of ideas”? Muslim loyalists “not portrayed in this film”? Most of all, as you will see, Italian filmmaker, Gillo Pontecorvo, lavishes footage on grief-stricken Arabs wailing over their lost ones but, magically, neglects to show any French widows and families weeping over the graves of husbands and fathers who were gunned down in cold blood by Islamic terrorists. As you can probably guess, even in 1966 rabidly Communist Italy just had to give Islam a pass.

The movies also depicts French officials creating a “false flag” attack by planting a bomb in the Arab sector. As always, when murdering French policemen, not a single bullet goes astray among the bystanders.

Ever-Liberal Wikipedia’s entry for Yacef Saadi curiously notes how: (No Italics for clarity.)

Yacef claims to have written his memoirs of the battle while in Prison, although he was known for being an illiterate. The writings were published in 1962 as Souvenirs de la Bataille d’Alger. After the Algerian War, Yacef helped produce Gillo Pontecorvo‘s film The Battle of Algiers (1966), based on Souvenirs de la Bataille d’Alger. [emphasis added]

An illiterate prisoner scribbling down “memoirs” using pencil stubs sharpened with his own teeth. We all know the story. As in the usual Lions of Islam™ horseradish. Still, the movie is instructive in terms of what will confront modern Western countries should urban terrorism become the norm. Something that the continued importation of millions of devout Muslims almost guarantees.


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