Algeria is most vivid in the imaginations of many non-Algerians as it was depicted by Gillo Pontecorvo and Yacef Saadi in their now-classic 1966 film, The Battle of Algiers. Set in the Algerian capital, it animated the city with revolution, showing men running clumsily through the winding streets of the Casbah, the old Islamic city, disguised in the archetypical, enveloping white veil worn by Algéroises women. Their heavy shoes, visible beneath the hems of these disguises, is what ultimately gives them away to the French military officers. The wide, well-swept streets of the European district of Bab el Oued are shot from the perspective of an unlucky vegetable seller. He is depicted staring up at wrought-iron balconies, over which lean enraged settlers bent on scapegoating him for the assassination of French police officers throughout Algiers. These strategic killings were actually conducted by...

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