Best Director
Academy Awards
Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Academy Awards
Golden Lion
Venice Film Festival
A classic of politically engaged filmmaking.
--Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly
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The Battle of Algiers

Part of our Anniversary Classics series. For details, visit: laemmle.com/ac.

50th Anniversary
Wednesday, April 18th
7 PM at the Royal, Town Center, and Playhouse

Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present the latest in our Anniversary Classics Abroad program, 50th anniversary screenings of Gillo Pontecorvo’s memorable and still timely political drama, 'The Battle of Algiers.' The film was an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film of 1966, but it was not released in the United States until 1968, when it received additional nominations for Best Director and for Best Original Screenplay by Pontecorvo and Franco Solinas. The film was considered so inflammatory that it was not shown in France until 1971.

The picture, filmed in black and white to approximate the look of a newsreel, dramatizes Algeria’s war of independence against France. It focuses on the years from 1954 to 1957, when the National Liberation Front began to organize in the casbah of Algiers to carry out terrorist attacks on civilians as well as the French army. This led to a fierce and brutal counter-insurgency by the French, and the battles dragged on for years.

To insure authenticity, Pontecorvo cast the film mainly with non-professional actors recruited in Algeria. The film’s one professional actor, Jean Martin, gave a vivid performance as the complex, intelligent French officer who understands the grievances of the Algerians even as he fights ruthlessly to defeat them. The film’s urgency was heightened by Ennio Morricone's score.

The film’s influence extended well beyond the cinema. It became a sort of handbook of revolutionary techniques that was studied by many radical groups over the years. Yet in 2003, after the invasion of Iraq, the Pentagon also screened the movie in order to better understand the civil war unleashed in that country. Many prominent filmmakers -- including Spike Lee, Mira Nair, Steven Soderbergh, and Oliver Stone -- have testified to the influence of Pontecorvo’s movie on their own work. Critic David Elliott of the
San Diego Union Tribune called 'The Battle of Algiers' “perhaps the finest political film of the 1960s.” Writing in the L.A. Weekly, Ella Taylor agreed that it was “a classic of politically engaged filmmaking.”

Played at

Playhouse 7, 4.18.18 - 4.18.18
Royal, 4.18.18 - 4.18.18
Town Center 5, 4.18.18 - 4.18.18
Rated NR This film is subtitled This film is subtitled
Web Site: https://rialtopict...
Runtime: 125 min
Language: French

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

  • Nominee, Best Director, Academy Awards
  • Nominee, Best Writing (Original Screenplay), Academy Awards
  • Winner, Golden Lion, Venice Film Festival
  • Winner, FIPRESCI Prize ~ Best Film, Venice Film Festival