October 2012 Archives

Battle of Algeria

| No Comments

This was one of the first "ancient" movies that I watched and I didn't fall asleep. HA! This film, Battle for Algiers illustrates the battle between the French and the Algerians roughly around 1959; finding peace and freedom.
It demonstrated the power and privileges of both sides. For the Arab Algiers, they were more cultural base, following cultural norms, traditions, and beliefs. Being in the Middle Class, they didn't have many resources; getting very limited aid, almost no help from the government. They relied on one another physical intelligence. For example, when they did the three different location bombings, they recruited three different people to carry and implant the three bombs. For the wealthier class, they would have hired someone outside of their own population; more so, they would have invented technology that would have shot the bomb to the exact location.
This then connects to power and privileges. The French had more "power", they were more technology advanced, a "wealthier" government. Therefore they had more help, which was easier to gain victory. This movie clearly shows how the difference in government affects the reaction and interaction of groups of people. As they continue the war, for the French toward victory and power to control, and for the Algerians, peace and equality- violence and torture along with humiliation and integration are present. An example would be, the all the different shootings, shooting the cops, bombing several locations, forcing civilians out of their own homes, etc. One example that illustrates humiliation and shame is when they capture of the Algerians, yet they announce to the public that they have been arrested. What is so shameful and becomes a burden is that they French actually announces who the people are, their names. This film really explores the sufferance and struggle for both sides.
Remarkable scenes that interest me the most about this video would be the hiding scenes. They were always a plan ahead or at least tried to be. They always had hiding places, people who were aware of their situations and were always ready for whatever was ahead. An example, when Ali and his friend were running from the French, they just randomly entered into a home. There, they were advised to hide in the well. Another scene would be one of the last scenes when they were hiding in the wall, the girl "slept" on her bed. For me, when the girl closed the opening in the wall and laid in bed, they family hiding in the wall- already foreshadowed that something bad was going to happen. For her, it was sleeping to try and "forget" about the situation, and for them, it would be to sleep, to die for leave the situation. Unfortunately, they did get the building bombed and they did die.
For me, these hiding scenes really showed how "powerless" the Algerians were. Not just the main characters of the film, but for all the Algerians. Random bombing, evictions, demolishing of buildings, etc shows how little power they had, they were not able to say much, even if they didn't want to leave, they for dragged and forced to leave the building, unless they wanted to die. They were always on the run to save their lives, and the lives of those who were fighting for them, protecting and representing them.
Throughout the film, power and control are main factors. Another main and important factor would be force and ordering. For the French they demanded for many things, civilians to leave their homes, to do and follow as they wanted, for example, at the check points- everyone was body searched, except for the "wealthy". It's a sigh of force, class, and privilege. The Algerians were forces to leave, to listen, to adapt to the French "culture", or else they would result in beatings, torture, getting shot, and killed. For Gramsci, he says that force is only agreed and reached of the majority is in. Again, this applies to the French. They had a vast portion of their population on their side. They had enough members to set up check points, and still have people to take on other roles.
If someone were to ask me about this video, I would really encourage them to watch it. It may be an "ancient" movie; it portrays a lot of perspectives of life in both historical times. It shows the frustration of trauma and violence through the shootings and killings, difference of power and control through the two different groups, the French and the Algerians. I would suggest this movie to others- it relates to life from all perspectives, to live, to fight for survival, and to die, in a right or wrong way.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.