“The battle of Algiers”

SYNOPSIS: One of the most influential political films in history, Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers (La bataille d’Alger) vividly re-creates a key year in the tumultuous Algerian struggle for independence from the occupying French in the 1950s. As violence escalates on both sides, children shoot soldiers at point-blank range, women plant bombs in cafés, and French soldiers resort to torture to break the will of the insurgents. Shot in the streets of Algiers in documentary style, the film is a case study in modern warfare, with its terrorist attacks and the brutal techniques used to combat them. The Criterion Collection is proud to present Gillo Pontecorvo’s tour de force—a film with astonishing relevance today.

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