In 2012 the BFI (British Film Institute) polled 846 critics, programmers, academics and distributors to update their list of what, in the experts opinion, are the greatest Movies of all time (to date).
In 2014 I decided to watch them.
No 48b in our list is the hugely brave and thought provoking “The Battle of Algiers” coming just 4 years after the declaration of Algerian Independance from over 130 years of French Colonial occupation the movie shows the battle against teh French rule by nationalist Muslims. Utilising bombs, police shooting and other very familiar forms of terrorism the movie is a very uncomfortable watch. This is primarily because of the undeniable balance portrayed in the mive with atrocities being performed on both sides. The methods used to gain “freedom” and the methods used to retain rule are both stark and disturbing and the images portrayed evoke memories of bombings in the UK and America and the troubles in Ireland.
In the same vein as Schindlers List, The Battle of Algiers is one of those films that isn’t particularly enjoyable to watch but it is one of those films that you really should. Extremism and anti-terrosim have never been as topical as it is today and if there is one thing the Moive makes clear there really are no easy solutions.
An uncomfortable inclusion to the list but another film that may have justified its position.
IMDB currently have the film at a reasonable 8.2. My score is 8.
Rotten Tomatoes have the film at a stunning 99% fresh. I would be a little more conservative with 85%
The Battle of Algiers is essential but uncomfortable viewing. You can do that right here thanks to the magic of YouTube.
Next jump straight to the number 42 ties and jump forward 24 years to 1990s “Close-Up”