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Battle of Algiers (insurgency)

by Nick Mirzoeff

This sequence in the Battle of Algiers is one of the most
striking intertextual moments in cinema between the screen and the real. It shows the FLN training its cadres in insurgency work. Many insurgent groups--from the IRA to the Black Panthers and Palestinian groups--are alleged to have used these scenes in training their own members. Certainly counterinsurgents (mostly but not always governments and their agents) hahave used it as an example of insurgency. The "actors" were non-professional and had lived through the revolution. YAcef Saadi, who plays himself in the film, had been a director of the FLN during the battle of Algiers--unknown is the extent to which the actors in these scenes were also FLN cadres.

Battle of Algiers (insurgency)

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Sequence showing FLN maneuvers

from Battle of Algiers (1965)
Creator: Gillo Pontecorvo
Distributor: Criterion
Posted by Nick Mirzoeff