17 July, 2012
Right now I'm working on a big, long rant about space travel, so in the mean time, I want to point out a film that you should see: The Battle of Algiers.
For those that don't know The Battle Algiers, it is an Italian directed movie about the end of French colonialism in Algeria. It documents the violent clashes, the terrorism, and the hideous tit-for-tat that eventually led to the overthrow of the French regime specifically in the city of Algiers. It's also much more than that. It's a thriller that also happens to be a highly political film-- one you could almost take any way you want. It is also as an immensely allegorical movie, but none of that meaning or weight makes the drama or the specific details of the Algerian revolution any less impactful, it's as fresh now as it was when it came out. In short, it's a classic.
For those that do know what the deal with this movie: This is me guilting you into watching it. What are you doing living a life without this movie? Do you think you are God?
And for those of you who have seen it you know that I'm stating the obvious. I might as well wax on about Breathless or Rashomon.
The overthrow of French rule in Algeria celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. I don't expect you to suddenly care one way or the other, but if that's the excuse that puts you over the edge, then that'd be just dandy.
The Battle of Algiers is currently available in a beautiful set from the Criterion Collection and the packaging alone is almost worth the purchase.
If you love politics, if you love history, if you love really stylish films, and if you just love film, you really do owe it to yourself to see this film. You're welcome ahead of time. And if you're the type of Frenchman that is still ass-hurt about Algeria, then I would recommend that you avoid The Day of the Jackal and then get over it, bro.