Either Triumph or Martyrdom: representation of women in the Algerian Revolutionary-War Movies, the case of The Battle of Algiers


  • Mourad Aty


The Algerian War of Independence had created a consensus on the glorification of the long and bloody struggle for freedom. The GPRA (Provisional Government of the Republic of Algeria) had made the first steps to document the ongoing battles as an additional propaganda for the cause.
National pride led the newly established nationalist regime to provide the necessary means for the country’s few experts in the movie industry to carry out the task already initiated during the revolution.
The 1960’s was a decade of a national strategy for filmmaking by the creation of several production and distribution agencies and most importantly by the nationalization process. The post-revolution momentum provided the opportunity to depict the suffering of a whole nation that had a long history with colonization. Woman were at the heart of the efforts because they had been under a double victimization:firstly, for being the “indigenous” who should be deprived from everything, including the
basic fundamental rights; secondly, because of the “other gender” that is vulnerable and consequently subject to all kinds of aggression. This paper discusses the significance of the role and the sacrifices of women in the master piece of the Algerian revolutionary war movie The Battle of Algiers and the importance of showing the notorious image of the colonizer.

Keywords: Algerian Revolution, war, movies, women.