'''''The Battle of Algiers''''' is a 1966 film by Gillo Pontecorvo, and is a [[RippedFromTheHeadlines dramatization]] of the Algerian War of Independence. The story begins with Ali La Pointe, a card sharp in the cramped slums of Algiers, the capital city of French-controlled Algeria. Imprisoned, he joins the [[LaResistance rebel group]] FLN and takes up arms against the colonial French government. After a few skirmishes with French police, reprisal killings spur ever-worse reprisal killings as the native and colonist populations are radicalized against each other. A UN vote for independence comes and goes as a general strike is called. Afterward, a French military expert, Colonel Philippe Mathieu, is brought in to pacify the region, [[TortureAlwaysWorks gain intelligence]], and destroy the FLN leadership.
A critical favorite, the film has attracted no small amount of controversy over the years. [[BannedInChina France banned the movie until 1971]]. It has been used as a how-to for many left-wing groups worldwide (notably, the Black Panthers used it as a training film in the '60s), and, conversely, was screened by the Pentagon in 2003 as a primer on counterterrorism.
!!''The Battle of Algiers'' provides examples of the following works:
* ActionGirl: Hassiba Ben Bouali.
* AnswerCut: After Mathieu's comment to the press about pro-war reporters "accepting all necessary consequences," we immediately segue to a grisly torture montage.
* AntiHero: Ali.
* BigNo: There's a loud one in the beginning.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: Terrorists blowing up innocent civilians (including children), versus colonial forces who torture people and don't care about "collateral damage".
** Not to mention the FLN's strict insistence on sharia law, enforced by the death penalty.
* CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys: Completely averted here.
* ChildSoldier: Petit Omar, more or less.
* ColdBloodedTorture: Done by the French soldiers.
* ColonelBadass: Colonel Mathieu.
* CompositeCharacter: Colonel Mathieu draws on several real life French paratroopers, including Jacques Massu, Marcel Bigeard and Yves Godard.
* DoomedMoralVictor: Ali.
* DuelingMovies: Released in America the same year as ''The Lost Command'', an adaptation of Jean Larteguy's ''Les Centurions'' with a far different different take on the Algerian War.
* TheEmpire: France.
* FreakierThanFiction: In actuality, the war was ''[[UpToEleven even more]]'' brutal than depicted here.
-->'''Mathieu:''' Should France remain in Algeria? If your answer is "yes", then you must accept all the consequences.
* InfantImmortality: Averted. When the first bomb is placed in the busy cafe, we see the people inside, including several small children. They all die in the massive blast.
* KickTheDog: Oh man, where to start...
* LineOfSightName: When Col. Mathieu is asked to name the operation to defeat FLN, he steps on the balcony to give it a thought. He then spots a sign promoting champagne, and thus the Operation Champagne is born.
* NecessarilyEvil: Again, Mathieu, though mileage may vary over the "Evil" part.
** Arguably, the revolutionaries are this as well.
* PetTheDog: The French gendarmes are mostly shown as brutes or [[AcceptableTargets faceless victims of the FLN]]. Yet several risk their lives saving an Algerian boy from being lynched by enraged settlers after a terrorist bombing.
* PunchClockVillain: Colonel Mathieu. He has to do horrible things but he isn't particularly deplorable. He even mentions that Algerians are good people and hopes things will remain peaceful after the FLN presence in the city is wiped out.
* RotatingArcs: There is no main character, as such.
* UrbanSegregation: The famous shot panning from the wealthy European Quarter of Algiers, to the dirt poor Casbah.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Ali and Colonel Mathieu, in their own ways.
* WorthyOpponent: Mathieu genuinely respects the FLN leaders, as military/terrorist leaders if not politically. After Ben M'Hidi's death Mathieu gives the press a long speech in praise of Ben M'Hidi's courage.