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The Battle of Algiers

Spine #249

Aug 9, 2011

Number of Discs: 1

  • 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • French PCM Mono
  • English subtitles

The Battle of Algiers

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Original release

Directed By: Gillo Pontecorvo
Starring: Brahim Haggiag, Jean Martin, Saadi Yacef, Samia Kerbash, Fusia El Kader, Ugo Paletti, Mohamed Ben Kassen
Licensor: Casbah Films

Discuss the film and Blu-ray here   View packaging for this Blu-ray

One of the most influential political films in history, Gillo Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers (La bataille d'Alger) vividly recreates a key year in the tumultuous Algerian struggle for independence from the occupying French in the 1950s. As violence escalates on both sides, children shoot soldiers at point-blank range, women plant bombs in cafés, and French soldiers resort to torture to break the will of the insurgents. Shot in the streets of Algiers in documentary style, the film is a case study in modern warfare, with its terrorist attacks and the brutal techniques used to combat them. The Criterion Collection is proud to present Gillo Pontecorvo's tour de force-a film with astonishing relevance today.

  • Production gallery
  • Theatrical and re-release trailers
  • Gillo Pontecorvo: The Dictatorship of Truth (1992): a 37-minute documentary, narrated by literary critic Edward Said
  • Exclusive 51-minute documentary on the making of The Battle of Algiers, featuring new interviews with the director, cinematographer, composer, editor, actors, and film historians
  • Five Directors (17 mins., 2004): Spike Lee, Mira Nair, Julian Schnabel, Steven Soderbergh, and Oliver Stone on the film's influence, style, and importance
  • Remembering History (69 mins., 2004): an exclusive documentary that reconstructs the Algerian experience of the battle for independence, featuring interviews with historians and revolutionaries, including military leader Saadi Yacef
  • "États d'armes" (2002): a 28-minute documentary excerpt featuring senior French military officers recalling the use of torture and execution to combat the rebellion
  • The Battle of Algiers: A Case Study (25 mins., 2004): Richard A. Clarke, former national counterterrorism coordinator and author of Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror, discusses the film's relevance with Michael A. Sheehan, former State Department coordinator for counterterrorism, in a conversation moderated by Christopher E. Isham, chief of investigative projects for ABC News
  • Gillo Pontecorvo's Return to Algiers (58 mins., 1992): the filmmaker revisits the Algerian people after three decades of independence
  • PLUS: a 56-page book featuring excerpts from Saadi Yacef's original account of his arrest, a reprinted excerpt from the film's screenplay, a reprinted interview with co-writer Franco Solinas, a new essay by film scholar Peter Matthews, and biographical sketches on key figures in the French-Algerian War


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