Please, sir...
Copyright the Artist. Courtesy the Artist
Please, sir... (2014), Rachel Maclean

As part of Rachel Maclean’s GENERATION exhibition, CCA is pleased to present a programme of iconic international films which engage with the process of independence and social change around the world.

Directed by Gillo Pontecorvom, The Battle of Algiers is a 1966 war film based on occurrences during the Algerian War (1954–62) against the French government in North Africa, the most prominent being the titular Battle of Algiers. The film, which was shot in Rossellini-inspired newsreel style - in black and white with documentary-type editing - is often associated with Italian neorealismcinema.

The film has been critically celebrated and often taken, by insurgent groups and states alike, as an important commentary on urban guerrilla warfare. Algeria gained independence from the French, a matter which Pontecorvo portrays in the film's epilogue. The film concentrates on the years between 1954 and 1957 when the guerrilla fighters regrouped and expanded into the Casbah, which was met by French paratroopers attempting to regain territory. The highly dramatic film is about the organization of a guerrilla movement and the methods used by the colonial power to contain it.

A subject of socio-political controversy, the film wasn't screened for five years in France, where it was later released in 1971

It occupies the 48th place on the Critics' Top 250 Films of the 2012 Sight & Sound poll as well as 120th place on Empire magazine's list of the 500 greatest movies of all time.

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