The Battle of Algiers

New restoration!

One of the great masterpieces of cinema, The Battle of Algiers is also a world-historical document, an essential piece in the puzzle of a violent and hopeful time. No film before or since has conveyed the drama of insurrection with such intensity or precision. Depicting the bloody clash for independence waged against French colonial forces in the late 1950s, Algiers is defined by dualities – while borrowing from neorealism and documentary in its stark, hand-held cinematography, and on-location shooting, Pontecorvo’s masterful control of suspense and emotion owes just as much to the clockwork thrillers of Hitchcock and Lang. And while the film’s heart undoubtedly lies with the revolutionary spirit of the Algerian people, its unflinching representation of atrocities committed by both French colonialists and Algerian radicals has made it an invaluable primer on guerrilla warfare for everyone from Black Panthers to the Pentagon. 50 years on, its power remains entirely undiminished: the only cinematic experience that could be more impactful than seeing it on screen is seeing it again.

Dir. Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966, DCP, 121 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!