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Left Bank Cinema: The Battle of Algiers
November 30, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm£4 – £5
The Battle of Algiers: masterpiece of political cinema, and one of the most influential films ever made.
Using hand-held cameras and grainy film stock, the film shows the brutal conflict in 1950s Algiers with documentary-like power. From the labyrinthine Casbah, the ‘Front de Liberation Nationale’ lead the struggle against the French colonisers, who enjoy lives of privilege in the boulevards of the ‘European’ city. French Colonel Mathieu brutally represses the Algerian revolt. Torture leads him to his nemesis, the illiterate revolutionary, Ali.
This Italian-Algerian film won the top prize at the 1966 Venice Festival. It would not be screened in France until 1971.
Dr Alan O’Leary (University of Leeds), author of a new book on the film, will introduce the film and lead a discussion with other experts.
Beatrice Ivey is a seminar tutor and PhD student at the University of Leeds in Francophone Studies. Her doctoral research focuses on literary texts written in French from France and Algeria that were published after Algerian Independence in 1962. She is particularly interested in how cultural memories of French colonialism and the Algerian War of Independence represent different kinds of gender identities.
S. Sayyid is Professor of Social Theory and Decolonial Thought and Head of the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds. He is a leading figure in Critical Muslim Studies, founding editor of the academic journal ReOrient and author of several books including Islamism as Philosophy (2015), Recalling the Caliphate (2015) and A Fundamental Fear (2003). He has also directed a short educational film, Everything You wanted To Know about Muslims But Were Afraid to Ask, and he frequently writes for newspapers and appears on radio and television.
Gillo Pontecorvo / Italy, Algeria / 1966 / 120 minutes