My thesis analyzes the reception of four films that contributed to French national discussion on the Algerian War of Independence and colonization of Algeria. Two films, The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966) and Outside the Law (Rachid Bouchareb, 2010) directly represent the war of independence. Days of Glory (Bouchareb, 2006) portrays Algerians fighting for France during World War II, and Of Gods and Men (Xavier Beauvois, 2010) depicts French monks who are killed during the Algerian Civil War.
I examine topics that reappear in reviews of the films, especially the portrayal of French and Algerian national identity through factors such as the relative depth of Algerian and French characters and the treatment of ethnic stereotypes. My thesis also discusses the films’ historical influence, such as their reflection of the Algerian War’s status in French national memory and their ability to shape discussion related to the war.