Chronique des Années de Braise (1975)
Director: Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina
Actors: Yorgo Voyagis, Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina, Leila Shenna
Runtime: 177 min
It is very rare to see colonialism depicted from the perspective of the enslaved. In this great Algerian movie, director Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina succeeded in showing the essence of colonial rule and many aspects of resistance to colonialism – from spontaneous to organized resistance, from the failure of the parliamentary opposition to the inevitability of armed struggle.
Social conditions and events that preceded, and eventually led to the Algerian revolution are shown from the perspective of an Algerian peasant. At the beginning, in late 1930s, he decides to leave his village that was hit by severe drought because the French built a dam on the river, and goes into the town expecting to find a better life for himself and his family. The story spans over a period of more than 15 years – from drought, famine, typhoid, through the Second World War. The post-war status quo is shown to be maintained through manipulation and repression, but also confronted through organized anti-colonial resistance, and the repression in French prisons, all the way up to 1st November of 1954 which is regarded as the starting date of the Algerian revolution. Based on actual events.