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Themes in “The Battle for Algiers” Movie Essay


Summary

The movie under review is “The Battle for Algiers.” The movie is a strong representation of the battle that marked the struggle for freedom by the native Algerians against the French colonial government. The movie is a 1966 film that indicates in the real picture how the Algerian war was fought in North Africa. The movie features a group of native Algerians committed to fighting for their freedom at all costs. They train anybody willing to take the chance and defend the nation by fighting for their independence. There is a lot of hate for the French government administrators as well as the local policemen who assist the government to govern the territory.

In a reconstruction of the events that took place during the 1954 to 1957 war for independence, the movie starts with the feeling of nationalism. The nationalists and loyalists identified each other by proving their courage to kill the enemy. After having understood their common target and strategy, the National Liberation Front starts by killing policemen. In return, the administration responds by planting bombs targeting the freedom fighters. The confrontation builds the plot of the movie which involves women, kids, and any resource that could help kill the enemy. In the end, the struggle continues with soldiers shooting people. However, the final scene closes as the captain announces that the struggle had led to a new independent Algeria.

Introduction

The movie “Battle for Algiers” was released in 1966 and was directed by Gillo Pontecorvo. The movie was edited by Mario Morra and Mario Serandrei and distributed by Rizzoli and Rialto Pictures from the date of release. The main themes that the movie depicts are the change in gender roles and the struggle for independence. The theme of changing gender roles is seen in the different roles done by women and children in the fight. The theme for the struggle for freedom is depicted by the entire concept and development of the movie.

Analysis of themes

Changing Gender Roles

The theme of the changes in gender roles is live in the plot of the movie, especially when comparing the events of the movie and the Algerian native culture. For instance, as the movie begins, women are seen taking part in the struggle by carrying weapons and food. A young woman in white robes and with a basket is seen hiding a revolver that she was instructed to give to a young man who was supposed to kill the policeman (“Battle for Algiers”). This was his first recruitment assignment from the National Liberation Front fighters (Mellen 9). This was a change in their traditional roles of cooking and serving men.

Children are also recruited to fight alongside the National Liberation Front fighter. In the movie, a child is recruited to the National Liberation Front by being given a gun to kill a policeman. This is different from their conventional roles of working at home with their mothers in the house (Silverman 3).

To bring out this theme to the viewer, it is important to completely distance the director from the analysis. This is because the director of the movie may include issues that may not reflect the ideal culture of the Algerian people. It is therefore important for the director to be objective in introducing events that depict this theme of changing gender roles.

Struggle for independence

The struggle for independence is the main concept of the movie and the development of the entire plot is based on it (Mellen 6). The main elements of the movie and the events are built upon the struggle for freedom that the National Liberation Front had engaged with the French government. In the first scene, fighters for the National Liberation Front are seen killing the French administration policemen (“Battle for Algiers”). They skillfully recruit their fighters by giving them strong and decisive tests. In return, their struggle was made bloody by bombs directed on them by the French soldiers.

In developing this theme, the director of the movie has made deliberate indications of a bloody plot. To understand this theme, it is also important to discard the director of the film completely from the scene. This helps the viewer to be objective in achieving a true reflection of the events behind the Algerian war for freedom.

Conclusion

The movie “Battle for Algiers” is a true reflection of the Algerian War during the fight for independence. The movie indicates the events that marked the bloody struggle for the liberation of Algerians from the French government. This movie gives a reflective account of the battles the National Liberation Front faced as they recruited fighters and fought the French army. The movie depicts the theme of changing the gender roles of men, women, and even children. Women and children have adopted their roles of fighting for freedom in the battlefields other than their traditional roles, such as women’s roles in the kitchen and children’s roles in studying and helping adults.

Works Cited

Battle for Algiers. Dir. Gillo Pontecorvo. Perf. Brahim Hadjadj, Jean Martin, Yacef Saadi. Rizzoli, Rialto Pictures. 1966. Film.

Mellen, Joan (1973). Film Guide to the Battle Algiers. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Print.

Silverman, Sara. “Dialectics of Self and Other.” Culture and Identity: the History, theory, and practice of psychology anthropology. 35.1 (2007): 205-234. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2020, October 2). Themes in “The Battle for Algiers” Movie. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/themes-in-the-battle-for-algiers-movie/

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"Themes in “The Battle for Algiers” Movie." IvyPanda, 2 Oct. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/themes-in-the-battle-for-algiers-movie/.

1. IvyPanda. "Themes in “The Battle for Algiers” Movie." October 2, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/themes-in-the-battle-for-algiers-movie/.


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IvyPanda. "Themes in “The Battle for Algiers” Movie." October 2, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/themes-in-the-battle-for-algiers-movie/.

References

IvyPanda. 2020. "Themes in “The Battle for Algiers” Movie." October 2, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/themes-in-the-battle-for-algiers-movie/.

References

IvyPanda. (2020) 'Themes in “The Battle for Algiers” Movie'. 2 October.

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