The Battle of Algiers [Criterion Collection] [2 Discs] [Blu-ray] [1966]

  • SKU: 19308115
  • Release Date: 08/09/2011
  • Rating: NR
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Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (4 out of 4)

Special Features

  • Disc one:
  • High-definition transfer, supervised by director of photography Marcello Gatti, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Gillo Pontecorvo: The Dictatorship Truth, a documentary narrated by literary critic Edward Said
  • Morxist poetry: The making of "The Battle of Algiers," a documentary featuring interviews with Pontecorvo, Gatti, and composer Ennio Morricone, among others
  • Interviews with Spike Lee, Mira Nair, Julian Schnabel, Steven Soderbergh, and Oliver Stone on the film's influence, style, and importance
  • Production gallery
  • Theatrical and rerelease trailers
  • Disc two: History and the Film:
  • Remembering History a documentary on the Algerian experience of the battle for independence
  • "États d'armes," a documentary exerpt featuring senior French military officers recalling the use of torture and execution to combat the Algerian rebellion
  • "The Battle of Algiers": A Case Study, a video piece featuring U.S. counterterrorism experts
  • Gillo Pontecorvo's Return to Algiers, a documentary in which the filmmaker revisits the country after three decades of independece


The Battle of Algiers
This highly political film about the Algerian struggle for independence from France took "Best Film" honors at the 1966 Venice Film Festival. The bulk of the film is shot in flashback, presented as the memories of Ali (Brahim Haggiag), a leading member of the Algerian Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN), when finally captured by the French in 1957. Three years earlier, Ali was a petty thief who joined the secretive organization in order to help rid the Casbah of vice associated with the colonial government. The film traces the rebels' struggle and the increasingly extreme measures taken by the French government to quell what soon becomes a nationwide revolt. After the flashback, Ali and the last of the FLN leaders are killed, and the film takes on a more general focus, leading to the declaration of Algerian independence in 1962. Director Gillo Pontecorvo's careful re-creation of a complicated guerrilla struggle presents a rather partisan view of some complex social and political issues, which got the film banned in France for many years. That should not come as a surprise, for La Battaglia di Algeri was subsidized by the Algerian government and -- with the exception of Jean Martin and Tommaso Neri as French officers -- the cast was entirely Algerian as well. At least three versions exist, running 135, 125, and 120 minutes. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Image coming soon
    Brahim Haggiag - Ali La Pointe
  • Jean Martin
    Jean Martin - Colonel Mathieu
  • Tommaso Neri
    Tommaso Neri - Captain
  • Image coming soon
    Fawzia el Kader - Halima
  • Image coming soon
    Michele Kerbash - Fathia

Customer rating

would recommend to a friend
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great movie from a great director

    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Gillo Pontecorvo has created this semi documentary movie that still stands out as a milestone in film making. The movie is played by locals and is filmed on site in Algiers. It portrays correctly the attrocities commited by both the French and the Algerians in Algeria's struggle for independence. The extras which are hours in length are excellent and worth the buy by themselves

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Must Have Criterion

    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This is the best film about revolution and it's making is even revolutionary. It's rumored to have even influenced some other revolutions.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great-looking release from Criterion

    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This is another slick release from the Criterion Collection, with a lot of cool supplements.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good Movie


    Great movie about a small portion of the Algerian war for independence.

    I would recommend this to a friend

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