This film shows the struggle of a society of Algerian people fighting for their independence against the opposing side which is the French. This is a film which is very dramatic; it shows the struggle of the Algerian people to gain their independence from the colonizing French. It shows the success and disappointments which the Algerian people faced which is something which lies not to far from the surface of our daily lives. This is a film which emphasizes events which occurred in real life, to real people with real problems.
Commander Lt. Colonel Philippe Mathieu tells his men: "The problem, as usual, is: first, the enemy; second, how to destroy him. There are 400,000 Arabs in Algiers. All against us? Of course not. There's only a minority that rules by terror and violence. This is the enemy to isolate and destroy.... It's an unknown, unrecognizable enemy. It blends with the others.
It is everywhere: in the cafes, in the alleyways of the Kasbah or in the streets of the European quarter, in the shops, in the shops, in the workplace."
The question that the film poses to is the same, mutatis mutandis, that Lt. Colonel Mathieu poses to the journalists: Should France stay in Algeria? Should the United States stay in Iraq? If the answer is yes, like the French, we'll have to accept all the necessary consequences.
If one changes the words 'settlers' and 'colonists' to 'American occupiers' and 'Algeria' to 'Iraq,' this is not a bad assessment of where the U.S. now finds itself--or may soon find itself. Watching current TV news footage coming out of Iraq, of American soldiers patting down Iraqi men at check-points (and putting hoods and plastic handcuffs on some of them) or ransacking private homes--one cannot help but grimace at the racial...