In 1965 Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo made this film tracing the efforts of the native population in Algeria, the 2nd largest nation in Africa, to rise up and liberate themselves after their French colonialist masters reneged on a promise to cut them loose. As much for its style as its even-handedness, his film raised a stir, received recognition, honors and condemnation, and went on to influence cinematic story-telling technique. Its re-creation of how terrorist movements grow and how they might be eliminated is, apparently, applicable enough to the current resistance in Iraq for the Pentagon to screen it privately for its military personnel.

Because of that relevance, new prints from the original negative have been struck for theatrical re-release, that we might all judge and reconsider its instructions and its messages. One of these is that the battle for hearts and minds can't be won so easily by a rebellious people when sympathetic observers can taste the malice behind the deaths they cause, no matter what the political context.

Continue reading: The Battle Of Algiers Review