La Bataille d’Algiers
In this vivid 1966 film (121 mins, in French and Arabic with English subtitles), Gillo Portecorvo puts a human face on the resistance movement that drove the French out of Algeria.
The film enjoyed a special showing at the Pentagon in Summer 2003, advertised as follows:
How to win a battle against terrorism and lose the war of ideas. Children shoot soldiers at point-blank range. Women plant bombs in cafes. Soon the entire Arab population builds to a mad fervor. Sound familiar? The French have a plan. It succeeds tactically, but fails strategically. To understand why, come to a rare showing of this film.
… which, strangely enough, brings me to Iraq.
Hidden Facts: a message from the Iraqi Resistance
Purporting to be the work of the Resistance group 1920 Revolution Brigades, this is an insightful and compelling video (16 mins) with surprisingly high production values. I can’t guarantee it’s real, but I can guarantee it’s worth watching.
Transcript in English and Arabic available here.