22 February 2008 | arsenick
Torture, history and amnesty
French movies about the "Events", as France called the independence war of Algeria from 1954 to 1962, are not so numerous. This one is clever, well shot (except for the framing) and wonderfully played. Olivier Gourmet is definitely one of my favorites french-speaking actors. First of all, I was cautious about the so many times used trick leading into depicting a past story from a present day perspective. It is very often a fake process intended to draw tears. I do prefer complete past stories, which also make us think about present day's similarities. I am impressed to read on this comments board the comparison made by people from everywhere with Iraq and Afghanistan. Reason Vs. emotion. But this movie is not so badly made regarding this trick. It is also a reflexion about amnesty of war criminals, the relevance of military justice and the constant hypocrisy of french people about Algeria. I regret a bit the part consisting in telling a past story from the reading of a journal written by a young officer, but Cecile de France is so lovely and she is doing well. The telling of the past story analyzes quite well also the differences of views between the army (coming from metropolitan France)and the colonial white community in Algeria. It makes me think that this war could also have resulted in an independence war in a South African or American way, setting-up the colonials free from their homeland, and leading to a segregationist state. There is a lot to think of in this movie. I am surprised that this movie had not been echoed so much. It reminded me of "Honneur d'un capitaine" (the honor of a captain), movie shot by Pierre Schoendoerffer in 1982, also telling about torture.