Director: Gillo Pontecorvo
Stars: Brahim Haggiag, Jean Martin, Yacef Saad
Winner of several prizes at the Venice Film Festival, 1966
Based on a story by Yacef Saad
The Battle of Algiers is a moving film about the national independence revolt in the 1950s and early 1960s in Algeria, in particular the urban revolt in Algiers in the Arab Quarter, the Casbah. The film was shot on 35mm film and has been digitally remastered for current release. The black-and-white film emphasises the dramatic action and the grainy quality illustrates with traumatising clarity the grinding poverty of the Casbah. The movie maker has a fascination with faces. The close-ups of the faces of the actors give a feeling of sympathy and intimacy with those organising and participating in the revolt, and disdain for those opposing it.