The Battle of Algiers

Title: La battaglia di Algeri
Year: 1966 (Italy), 1967 (US)
Director: Gillo Pontecorvo
Writers: Gillo Pontecorvo & Franco Solinas
Starring: Brahim Hadjadj, Jean Martin
Music: Ennio Morricone, Gillo Pontecorvo
Distinctions: Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film (1967); Oscar nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay (1969); currently #190 on IMDb’s Top 250
Synopsis: the Algerian revolution in the late 1950’s, shot documentary style
Length: 121 minutes
How I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), January 2009
Subjective Rating: 5/10 (Indifferent).
Objective Rating: 6/10 (points off for story, characters, dialog and subjective rating) c. 2.5/4 (Okay).

Morricone’s score makes it all bearable. The trouble with shooting this movie documentary style is that it doesn’t have any content that wouldn’t be in an actual documentary (such as, say, characters). And I’m sure it would make a very interesting documentary. But… all this stuff that it feels like I’m learning is just a fictionalized version of things. So I’m not getting any storytelling out of this, and I’m not getting any edumacating out of it… What am I supposed to get out of it?


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