The Battle of Algiers

It’s a classic and seems strangely poignant these days when we are all reading about insurgencies and counterinsurgency.

The Battle of Algiers is a classic movie about the Algerian War.

The topics — insurgency, bombings, terrorism, counterinsurgency, torture — seem strangely poignant and current.

I rate the movie 8/10.

Author: Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer

6 thoughts on “The Battle of Algiers”

  1. just recently saw the battle of algiers. my husband is an algerian who was born in la casbah and his family moved into the old european quarter in the early 70s. My father in law, while not an offical member of the FLN, fought for algerian independence. I wanted to watch the film for nearly 5 years, but I was unable to get it. Just recently, I found the entire film on google video.

    I’d definitely reccomend the film, although I would necessarily call the actions of the algerians terrorism. Some may disagree with me, but it was a revolutionary war which was on uneven playing field. If my memory and my top notch catholic school educations serves me correct, the united states(at the time colonies) while fighting its own revolutionary war against england used guerilla tactics which the british saw as barbaric.

    While I dont support putting bombs in cafes, I do think that the Algerian people did whatever was necessary to regain their freedom and their dignity. It’s good to note that Algeria was seen as an extension of France and not merely a colony. Morocco and tunisa, while technically french colonies, had their own local governments. No such freedom was given to the Algerian people.

    It’s sad to me that the country is so absolutely corrupt now. The people went from being humiliated and oppressed by the french to being humilited and oppressed by their own people. I would call what happened in Algeria in the 90s more of terrorism than what happened during the independence.

    Did you know they screened this film at the Pentagon before the US led invasion of Iraq?

  2. I dont know how people watch historical flicks….the only one that i liked was Braveheart which I believe wasnt a true story…or wait …was it?

  3. Colonial tactics during the Revolution were largely considered improper, unfair and cowardly by the British, but barbaric is going too far. The tactics were “improper” because colonial militias tended not to form lines of battle. They were “cowardly” because the colonists used hilly, wooded terrain as cover instead of standing in pretty lines. And, their tactics were “unfair” because they worked. Two very important points should be noted. The British employed many Indians during the Revolution and sent irregulars to fight with them. These units took full advantage of the “improper, unfair and cowardly” tactics employed by the emerging Americans. Colonial forces also tried rather hard to fight the “proper” way during many engagements, and toward the end of the war, they actually started winning battles the proper way.

    An absence of certain tactics further strengthens my argument against the charge of barbarism. The colonists did not detonate carts full of gunpowder in the middle of crowded markets simply because towns were occupied by the British. The wives and children of British soldiers and supporters were not regularly abducted, tortured, murdered and dumped in the corner of a town.

    I confess to not knowing much about Algeria’s transition from French control to its current state; so, I will refrain from saying anything about it. But, I can largely refute the charge that the American Revolution was an especially barbaric conflict marked by consistent targeting of rebel, loyalist or English civilians. War involves terror, but terrorism was not a hallmark of the American Revolution.

  4. ummabdurrahman: The Algerian movement did use terrorist tactics. As for the American revolution, Captain Arrrgh answered that one very well.

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