Thursday, November 8, 2007


In French with English subtitles

The Algerian War (Guerre d'Algérie), also known as the Algerian War of Independence, took place between 1954 and 1962 and led to Algerian independence from France. One of the most important decolonization wars, it was a complex conflict characterised by guerrilla warfare, terrorism against civilians and the use of torture on both sides.

The people of France divided themselves either as pro French Algeria, or maintaince of the status quo, or an intermediate status between independence and complete integration into the French Republic.

Samy Seghir: 9-year-old Mahmoud
Nathalie Baye: Gisèle, a housewife
Gerard Depardieu: her husband Georges, the local postman

The closing credits provide details about the present status of the principals so it would seem the movie is based on a true story. Which explains why the political situation reappears so frequently, most often as an intrusion to the rest of the story.

This is one of those movies that one would describe as “just average”: the acting is passable, the story is not all that original, and the music somewhat limited (all by the same singer) and production values are fine.

But it is too long at two hours and four minutes. The first thing I would edit out is the slaughtering of the pig about three-quarters of the way through. Gruesome.

for brief sexuality, some violence and one disturbing scene.

The casting director screwed up: the fellow being stopped by the police says he was born in 1924 which would make him 36 years old when these events too place. He is definitely much older than that, more like 60.

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