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5,236 Ratings

The Battle of Algiers

La battaglia di Algeri

Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo
Italy, Algeria, 1966
War, History


A film commissioned by the Algerian government that shows the Algerian revolution from both sides. The French foreign legion has left Vietnam in defeat and has something to prove. The Algerians are seeking independence. The two clash.

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The Battle of Algiers Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo

Awards & Festivals

Venice Film Festival

1966 | 2 wins including: Award of the City of Venice

Academy Awards

1967 | Nominee: Best Foreign Language Film

1969 | 2 nominations including: Best Director

BAFTA Awards

1972 | Winner: UN Award

Fifty years later, it remains remarkably easy to see what all the fuss was about. While docudrama recreations of real events are much more common today than they were in 1967, the lack of familiar faces in The Battle of Algiers may still make you wonder, as many critics did back then, if some of what you’re seeing is found footage. It’s not, and in retrospect, Pontecorvo was extraordinarily fortunate that his initial vision for the movie… could not be realized.
September 13, 2017
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Based on the eponymous campaign during the Algerian war, The Battle of Algiers is perhaps best known for its technical aspects, which have been rarely, if ever imitated: the almost universal use of non-actors; the hand-held, documentary-style aesthetic, so convincing that the film ran in America with a disclaimer that “not one foot” of actual war footage was used. But none of this would be nearly as powerful without the tense directorial prowess and incredible vision of Pontecorvo.
October 05, 2016
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While technically brilliant and consistently engrossing, The Battle Of Algiers is not easy to embrace on political grounds; it neither demonizes nor lionizes either side of the conflict, aiming for just-the-ugly facts objectivity. Nobody who sees it is likely to feel comforted, or even vindicated. The emotion it most frequently and fervently inspires is sorrow.
October 05, 2016
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