Acceptable Targets: The French gendarmes, who are mostly brutes and hence fair game for murder and reprisals. Multiple critics noted that sad music plays over Algerians killed by the French, along with French civilians killed by the FLN, but none accompanies the deaths of policemen.
Misaimed Fandom: Perhaps inevitably, many American/European viewers of Algiers side with the French.
Near the start of the movie, the FLN member who recruits Ali explains that the definition of crimes and the way they are punished are to show FLN means business, to create an atmosphere of fear in the Kasbah through which they can institute order and loyalty and to have something to define themselves against the French.
Real Life: Gillo Pontecorvo was a communist. He would not have lasted long in the kind of society the FLN wanted to create.
Values Resonance: It became a surprise hit in the United States in its original release, both because the of the eerie similarities in the France/FLN conflict and what was going on in the Vietnam War, and rise of militant groups who took the FLN as a role model. Then in 2003 it gained renewed notice because of how much the situation in Algiers was like the one in Baghdad. The Pentagon even sponsored a screening as a demonstration of how an organized army can fall victim to guerrilla attacks.