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Women in the revolution

by Nick Mirzoeff

Eight years after the general strike in Algiers, the Casbah rises again and the FLN are victorious. The revolution is symbolized by the keening of women, especially the last sequence of the film showing a close-up, Eisenstein-style, of a dancing woman in traditional dress.

Pontecorvo later said that he had chosen this ending because he wanted to make a specific point about the place of women in Algeria. While they had been central to the revolution, it was already clear that elements in the governing party now wanted to return to traditional gender roles and divisions.

Battle of Algiers ch.34

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Women celebrating the victory

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