Battle of Algiers
Battle of Algiers
One of the problems that continue to be a part of our modern society is the act of terrorism, which has played a major role in our modern warfare that continues to exist in the Middle Eastern regions. It is sadly a successful instrument that has been exploited by many terrorist groups through the fierce history of mankind. This method has often been approached when confronted by immeasurable odds and crushing military force that cannot be overcome by conventional methods. This act of Guerilla warfare has been witnessed before in countries such as Vietnam, Laos and in recent days Afghanistan and Iraq.
The ideology behind Guerilla warfare is not only an act of retribution against the enemy forces but also an act, which the radical groups anticipate will persuade others to fall in line with their belief. In the movie, The Battle of Algiers, the same message is being persuaded by the FLN, when they rise up to go to war against the French army. The filmmaker Gillo Pontecorvo captures their act of retribution against the French colonizer with such scenes as, “the drive by shooting of French citizens in an ambulance” or the suicide bombings at different locations crowded with French citizens.
These scenes convey a message, which is rarely shown in modern films today, as the scenes not only create a positive attitude towards the act of vengeance but also makes it seem acceptable to take the lives of innocent individuals in order to gain the freedom of your nation and your people. Nevertheless, Stone in his article of Reel Terrorism portrays these acts quite differently as he envisions them from the viewpoint of an Islamic retribution rather than a revolution of freedom through war.
In his article, Stone continues to portray an image of Islam being at the center of the film, which in my opinion is absolutely incorrect, as it not only takes away the freedom that these men and women fought for but also creates the central idea that the only reason the people of Algiers rose against the colonists is not because of oppression but rather because they wanted to bring back Islamic principles in order to purify their nation, which had been tainted by Western influence.
In my opinion Stone focuses more on the metaphors that he himself creates from the movie, which seem to be greatly influenced from what the western media has portrayed the Middle Eastern freedom fighter to be in this modern warfare. Stone also continues to use this characterization of Islam within the movie in relationship to the ongoing war between America and terrorism. In the article, he mentions that it seemed reasonable to invade Afghanistan that was ruled by the Taliban, who are cruel to women, sheltered Bin Laden, and hated Americans.
This quotation by Stone not only approves the act of vengeance, which he himself finds to be inappropriate within the movie but also makes it seem reasonable for Americans to become the colonizer within Afghanistan and to change their religious faith to be more acceptable in society. Nevertheless, Stones usage of characterization of Islam within the movie takes away the message that Pontecorvo was trying to portray in his movie, which was to show the audience the stand that people have to take against the colonizer in order to preserve their cultural heritage from becoming extinct.
Subject: Middle East,
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 6 January 2017
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