Programmed by Annick Peigné-Giuly
French, English, Arab, Italian
In 1965, three years after Algeria’s independence, Gillo Pontecorvo filmed “The Battle of Algiers”, recreating the fighting between General Massu’s French parachutists and Algeria’s National Liberation Front in 1957. Pontecorvo based his work on the memories of Yacef Saadi, who took an active part in the events and plays himself in the film. Sixty years later, using a great many witness accounts and exceptional archives, Malek Bensmaïl’s documentary offers an investigation that takes us from the Casbah to Paris, from Rome to the United States.
Made in 1965 and banned in France until 1971, “The Battle of Algiers” by Gillo Pontecorvo won the Golden Lion in Venice in 1966 and became a cult film in Algeria, broadcast every year on television to commemorate Independence. It was co-produced by the company of Yacef Saadi, a hero of the struggle for liberation who plays himself in the movie. Shooting the film was used as a decoy to bring the tanks of Boumediene’s army into the city during the coup d’état that overthrew President Ben Bella. With witness accounts and exceptional archives, sixty years later, Malek Bensmaïl offers us a fascinating fresh look at this film that has been constantly enriched by history.
Artistic director of Corsica.Doc Festival