Criterion Collection - The Battle of Algiers

Criterion Collection - The Battle of Algiers

Brahim Haggiag
Director: Gillo Pontecorvo Cast: Brahim Haggiag
Brahim Haggiag
, Yacef Saadi
Yacef Saadi
, Jean Martin
Jean Martin
Gillo Pontecorvo

Blu-ray (Black & White)

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Overview

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.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/09/2011
UPC: 0715515085113
Original Release: 1966
Source: Criterion Collection
Region Code: A
Presentation: [B&W]
Sound: [Dolby Digital Mono]
Time: 2:01:00
Sales rank: 12,703

Special Features

Disc one: ; High-definition transfer, supervised by director of photography Marcello Gatti, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack ; Gillo Pontecorvo: The Dictatorship Truth, a documentary narrated by literary critic Edward Said; Morxist poetry: The making of "The Battle of Algiers," a documentary featuring interviews with Pontecorvo, Gatti, and composer Ennio Morricone, among others ; Interviews with Spike Lee, Mira Nair, Julian Schnabel, Steven Soderbergh, and Oliver Stone on the film's influence, style, and importance; Production gallery ; Theatrical and rerelease trailers ; Disc two: History and the Film: ; Remembering History a documentary on the Algerian experience of the battle for independence ; "États d'armes," a documentary exerpt featuring senior French military officers recalling the use of torture and execution to combat the Algerian rebellion; "The Battle of Algiers": A Case Study, a video piece featuring U.S. counterterrorism experts; Gillo Pontecorvo's Return to Algiers, a documentary in which the filmmaker revisits the country after three decades of independece

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Brahim Haggiag Ali La Pointe
Yacef Saadi Kader
Jean Martin Colonel Mathieu
Tommaso Neri Captain
Fawzia el Kader Halima
Michele Kerbash Fathia
Mohamed Ben Kassen Little Omar,Petit Omar
Samia Kerbash Arabian girl,One of the girls

Technical Credits
Gillo Pontecorvo Director,Score Composer,Screenwriter
Sergio Canevari Production Designer
Marcello Gatti Cinematographer
Mario Morra Editor
Ennio Morricone Score Composer
Antonio Musu Producer
Yacef Saadi Producer
Mario Serandrei Editor
Franco Solinas Screenwriter

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