KevinDufauchard ProfessorMulotGS399:Contemporary FranceJanuary16, 2018Film Review: The Battle of Algiers Throughoutthe film, the FLN (National Liberation Front) proved to be dedicated toexhibiting resistance to French colonialism through a variety of political and violentmeans. The FLN targets French policeman and paratroopers by means of guerillawarfare. The group was resourceful, dedicated, and persistent. In a nonbiaseddocumentary style film of The Battle of Algiers, it is difficult not to sidewith FLN movement, despite questioning some methods and tactics used during thewar.The leadership of the FLN shows skepticismand intelligence when regarding new FLN recruits. They reveal carefullydeveloped plans to initiate members into the FLN, using caution when decidingwho to trust. This is evident through the mission given to Ali La Pointe by theFLN.
He is tasked with shooting a French policeman, ensuring that he is indeedcommitted to the cause and willing to endure consequences and sacrifice for theneeds of the FLN. After attempting to murder the French officer, Ali La Pointe realizesthe weapon given to him only shot blanks; therefore, nothing happens when Alipulls the trigger directed towards the officer. Through this, the FLN is ableto confirm Ali’s loyalty to the FLN while retaining him from incarceration. TheFLN was highly strategical in their methods and moved cautiously in their endeavors. TheFLN showed signs of resilience when overcoming barriers enforced by the Frenchauthorities.
The group showed intellect and persistence through the stash andgrab type method when committing attacks against French authorities. Weaponswere placed in FLN known locations to avoid being caught during a potentialsearch or pat down. This allowed members to quickly retrieve a weapon whenneeded, use it, replace it, and flee the scene in seconds without authoritiesor witnesses seeing the culprit.Colonel Mathieu leads the paratrooperswhich the French government uses to eradicate the Algerian rebellion. Mathieuis tasked with controlling the Algerian environment. He is a stern leader,exhibiting little emotion and respected by his subordinates. Colonel Mathieu’scharacter is used as a balance against the Algerian nationalists, his actionsembodies and represents the French perspective.
His primary goal is victory. Colonel Mathieu provides a newchallenge for the FLN group. The addition of paratroopers targeted specificallytowards Algerian terrorism indicates how much ground the FLN has covered. TheFrench government is giving the FLN more attention by adding additional resourcesinto the mix. Through Mathieu, the audience is able to see into France’s logicand the logic behind their methods, including their justifications for torture.This is evident in the cross examination scene done to Colonel Mathieu by thejournalists.
He emphasizes the consensus in eliminating the FLN rebellion andhighlights their terrorist actions. He communicates to the journalists aboutthe primary internal struggle between France and the FLN, which is France’soccupation of Algeria. Women were used to the advantage ofthe FLN warfare in the film. Prior to the scene preparing the three woman withbombs, FLN leader Jafar acknowledges a French bombing in the Casbah but preventthe Algerian people from reacting. He informs them that the FLN will avenge theactions of the French.
The plan is to use women to bomb the European areas,The women wore makeup and Europeanclothing to pass for Europeans. As they modify their appearances to Europeanstyles, a fast paced drum beats in the background, indicating the tension and chaoticatmosphere. Ali La Pointe and Jafar review the women’s appearance and gives thego ahead, after Ali suggests the third woman go to a specific checkpoint, onewhich he believes will be easier to pass through.
The audience receives insight into Frenchculture and beliefs regarding women through this cut. Women were not seen ascapable of committing such heinous acts. At the checkpoints, the women wereable to pass through without hesitation. Instead of close examination at thesearch point, the women were flirted with by French soldiers. This paved theway for the women to successfully bomb each of their assigned areas. Although this show’s French negligencewhen regarding women, it simultaneously highlights the FLN’s willingness toutilize all resources available while fighting against the French.
The FLN andwomen were willing to use the feminine aspects of the women to aid in theircampaign. Additionally, the personal sacrifices these women were willing totake on behalf of the FLN exhibits the unity and commitment from all members ofthe FLN, regardless of sex. The fearlessness displayed by the women duringthese scenes characterized Algerian women of the time, whereas the innocenceassumed is directed toward women of the time in general.