Screencap from the trailer for The Battle of Algiers showing an overrun Algeria, November 25, 2017 - precija on Youtube
CAIRO – 25 November 2017: As part of its ”Postcolonial Cinema of the Middle East” program, the American University in Cairo will be showing a screening of the 1966 Italian/Algerian movie “The Battle of Algiers” on November 29.
Commissioned by the Algerian government in order to show both sides of the conflict, director Gillo Pontecorvo uses a documentary style to recreate influential events within the Algerian war for independence against France’s colonial rule. Spanning from the late 1950s until the early 1960s, the film follows two main characters: Ali la Pointe (Braham Haggiag), a former criminal turned Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) member after witnessing a beheading in prison, and French strategist Colonel Mathieu (Jean Martin), who aims to dissolve the FLN by “cutting off the head of the tapeworm.”
For its coldly objective stance on two opposing sides of a war and its cinematic expertise, “The Battle of Algiers” has gone down as one of the most important political films of all time. It was even banned in France for a time. However, it was nominated for three Oscar awards and won the Venice Film Festival’s “Award of the City of Venice”.
The film screening will be followed by a Q&A answer session with Martina Rieker of the Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies.