The Battle of Algiers (La battaglia di Algeri)

Sat 1 Nov| 21:00| Hackney Picturehouse

The Battle of Algiers (La battaglia di Algeri)
Dir. Gillo Pontecorvo
Italy/Algeria, 1966. 121min. B&W. French, Arabic, English with English subtitles.

Winner of the Golden Lion at the 1966 Venice Film Festival, Pontecorvo’s film focuses on a battle which took place in 1957 between the French army and the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN). A riveting piece of cinéma vérité, The Battle of Algiers has elicited strong emotional responses and was banned in France for many years. It has since been appropriated by diverse camps: French General Aussaresses has allegedly used it to train officers to torture; the Stop the War Coalition screened it as a message of hope against US/British forces; the US government has brandished it as a “manual” of how to beat a guerrilla battle but lose a political war. A masterpiece not to be missed, The Battle of Algiers is still as powerful and politically relevant today as it was over forty years ago.