Best Movies by Farr

The Battle of Algiers

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What's it About

After over a century of French occupation, the Algerian people finally rebelled in the mid-1950s. This film revisits the urban guerrilla warfare perpetrated by the National Liberation Front (FLN), pitting it against the torturous counter-insurgency attacks deployed by the French Army. The drama focuses on two key players in the struggle: Ali La Pointe (Haggiag), an illiterate who gained prominence as a rebel leader, and Colonel Mathieu (Martin), the mastermind behind the morally questionable maneuvers of the French. When the two finally meet, only one lives to tell the tale.

Why we love it

Pontecorvo's Oscar-nominated film provides a vivid and harrowing account of the Algerians’ struggle against colonialism. Shot in a cinema-verité style, the film uses predominantly non-professional actors, which only increases the prevailing sense of realism. A moving score by the legendary Ennio Morricone further adds to the film's considerable impact. Don't miss this stirring landmark movie about revolutionaries and the governments who oppose them. (Trivia note: this movie is so influential that groups as diverse as the Black Panthers and the Pentagon have used it for training purposes!)

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"