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The Battle of Algiers Movie Poster
Plot, Details & Awards

The Battle of Algiers

Not Rated In Theaters 02/1/1996 , 123min.
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Plot & Details

This highly political film about the Algerian struggle for independence from France took "Best Film" honors at the 1966 Venice Film Festival. The bulk of the film is shot in flashback, presented as the memories of Ali (Brahim Haggiag), a leading member of the Algerian Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN), when finally captured by the French in 1957. Three years earlier, Ali was a petty thief who joined the secretive organization in order to help rid the Casbah of vice associated with the colonial government. The film traces the rebels' struggle and the increasingly extreme measures taken by the French government to quell what soon becomes a nationwide revolt. After the flashback, Ali and the last of the FLN leaders are killed, and the film takes on a more general focus, leading to the declaration of Algerian independence in 1962. Director Gillo Pontecorvo's careful re-creation of a complicated guerrilla struggle presents a rather partisan view of some complex social and political issues, which got the film banned in France for many years. That should not come as a surprise, for La Battaglia di Algeri was subsidized by the Algerian government and -- with the exception of Jean Martin and Tommaso Neri as French officers -- the cast was entirely Algerian as well. At least three versions exist, running 135, 125, and 120 minutes.

Awards

Academy Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1968 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Director Gillo Pontecorvo Nominated
1968 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Original Screenplay Gillo Pontecorvo Nominated
1966 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Foreign Language Film Gillo Pontecorvo Nominated
1966 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Director Gillo Pontecorvo Nominated
1968 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Original Screenplay Franco Solinas Nominated

British Academy of Film and Television Arts

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1971 British Academy of Film and Television Arts United Nations Award Gillo Pontecorvo Won

British Academy of Film and Television Arts

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1971 British Academy of Film and Television Arts United Nations Award Gillo Pontecorvo Won

Telluride Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2003 Telluride Film Festival Film Presented Nominated

Venice International Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1966 Venice International Film Festival Golden Lion Gillo Pontecorvo Won

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