Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sight & Sound Challenge: The Battle of Algiers (1966)

Film: The Battle of Algiers (128/250)
First Time/Rewatch: First Time

Did you see them
Going off to fight?
Children of the barricade
Who didn't last the night?
Did you see them
Lying where they died?
Someone used to cradle them
And kiss them when they cried.
Did you see them
Lying side by side?

Who will wake them?
No one ever will.
No one ever told them
That a summer day can kill.
They were schoolboys
Never held a gun
Fighting for a new world
That would rise up like the sun
Where's that new world
Now the fighting's done?

Nothing changes, nothing ever will
Every year another brat, another mouth to fill.
Same old story, what's the use of tears?
What's the use of praying if there's nobody who hears?
Turning, turning, turning, turning, turning
Through the years.

These lyrics are from Les Miserables but I couldn't help thinking of this song while watching this film. This one was hard for me to watch. Not because it wasn't engaging or it was poorly made, but because I often look to film to escape this world. This film was a sad reminder that there is always conflict, always unrest, always violence, and there always will be until humans no longer roam this planet. This film was impressive in its realism; I felt at times that I was watching stock footage. It puts you right there in the minds of these characters, in the hideout spaces in the walls. It's a dangerous reality for so many people in this world, still. Cinema can remind us of that.

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