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HST 219 (10)
Lecture

Battle of Algiers (Movie) - Notes and themes

4 Pages
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Department
History
Course Code
HST 219
Professor
Joey Power

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HST – Week 8 Lecture March 17, 2011 1 Battle of Algiers (1966) Director: Gillo Pontecorvo Italian Neo-Realist School About film: - Was made by an Italian director with the full support of the Algerian government - About urban warfare between nationalist - Neo-Realist: when you look at the screen it looks like found footage, news reel footage - Used hand held cameras, black and white, use of jump cuts and the casting of virtual unknowns - Film was shot on location in Algiers and in some of the actual places that the events happened - There was only 1 actual actor cast in the film, Jean Martin played Colonel Le Mathieu - One of the most peculiar casting choices was a man who had actual experience in the Battle of Algiers and he played himself in the movie - Actors delivered their lines in the most understated way - Film is shot in the realistic style - Film is extremely provocative, was not screened in mainland France until 1971 French presence in North Africa - Along with Tunisia became a French colony - In 1847 French had defeated Algerian resistance, but pockets of resistance still existed - Algeria, like South Africa, was conceived as a settler colony - Where French settlers would produce wealth for the mother country - The colony was ultimately to be politically assimilated – was to become part of mainland France - By the 1950s became the permanent decent of 1 million European people - Pieds noirs by 1950s of 8 million Africans mostly Muslim, no political voice - They were ethnically diverse but united by religion - Religion was the biggest obstacle to the political process – Muslims could not vote - Vast majority of the population had no political right, and most were French subjects in their own land - Algeria was nominally represented in the French assembly but most of the population had no voice - Algeria from the earliest times had been exploited for its agricultural land – for its wheat, olives, grapes - Strict set of laws set in place to control the Indigenous people: in their own country most of the people (majority) were considered alien and inferior, or “invisible” HST – Week 8 Lecture March 17, 2011 2 - The Second World War was a turning point in Algerian history, because Germany occupied the southern part of France and this directly related to events in Algeria - - Algeria as part of France  WWII – Vichy Regime 1940 – 1942 - American occupation - German – Italian surrenders in Libya May 1943 - Return of Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco to Gen. Charles - Degaulles “Free French” gout in exile - Between 1942 and 1943 Algeria is under control of American forces - Americans are greeted as liberators, and encourage Algerian aspirations for greater political rights - Americans see themselves as “anti colonial people” and they inherently oppose colonicalization - Encouraged by the Americans and the war in France, the Algerian majority begin to push for most rights African Politics Post-war - Ferhat Abbas Manifesto of the Algerian People - Feb 1943 - Demanded that Muslims have rights and French citizenship - When the French come back they throw those who rebel the government throws them in jail (Setif) - Messali Hadj (communist) escaped detention and goes underground to organize a lobby/pressure group called “Friends of the Manifeso of Liberty” - These people go underground as a political party because they know that the requests that the manifesto is asking will not be taken - During VE-Day 1945 a parade is organized around the village of Satif, it is supposed to be a victory of France, what happens is that Massali Hadj infiltrates the parade and puts in nationalist signs of their own “Long Live Algeria” etc. (Setif Demonstrations > riots) - This triggers a 4 day battle in which 100 European officials and 8,000 Algeirans were killed - The French respond to this disorder by sending troops, drop bombs on village and ground troops raid villages - Impact  French – reform and repress  Africa – reform and radicalize HST – Week 8 Lectu
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