The Battle of Algiers Directed by Pontercorvo realism of the film

Essay by trinketalatinaCollege, UndergraduateA+, November 2002

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This film, which was directed by Pontercorvo, is exceptional not only in content but in camera work. The viewer can not but help being drawn into a world which seems so realistic as to include black and white footage, newsreel like scenes, not to mention shooting of film in the actual location in which this battle took place. Knowing that this was not an actual documentation I should have known better than to be drawn into the seeming reality of this film which made me feel that I was witnessing events taking place while being recorded. This film shows the struggle of a society of Algerian people fighting for their independence against the opposing side which is the French. In the begining of the film we see the cameras following a young man who later becomes one of the leaders in the movement. The way in which the camera ia placed and the movemnets (dollying, tracking, zooming, panning, etc)of it give the sense that the camera is following him throughout his every move.

One of the techniques which was employed by Pontercorvo which added to the seemigly reality of this film was the usage of a handheld camera for the crowd scenes which further emphasized and fortified the realism which was portrayed. It is obvious taht all of the characters in this film are not actors which makes it even better. The viewer will notice that this is true because much of the time people would stare at the camera, which goes against the Classic Hollywood Narrative, and further accentuates to the realism of the film. One of the scenes which caught my eye ver much was the scene in which a bomb was planted in the Casbah. The after effects of the explosion are showed. People digging up the...