movie film review | chris tookey

Days of Glory/ Indigenes

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  Days of Glory/ Indigenes Review
Tookey's Rating
6 /10
Average Rating
7.30 /10
Said - Jamel Debbouze , Yassir - Samy Naceri
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Directed by: Rachid Bouchareb
Written by: Rachid Bouchareb, Olivier Lorelle

Released: 2006
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: Algeria
Colour: C
Length: 120

A cry of rage against the French.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Rachid Bouchareb’s Oscar-nominated war epic could easily be dismissed (or praised, come to that) as an Algerian imitation of Saving Private Ryan. It has similarly gruesome battle sequences, a tear-jerking climax at a military cemetery, and a middle section that should have been pruned by 20 minutes. But it has a unique impact because it tells an important but little-known story of racial injustice. It’s about African Muslim soldiers called up to save their “motherland” France in World War II.

Once enlisted, they were humiliated and fell foul of French racism. The few who survived being used as cannon fodder were treated almost as badly after the war, when they didn’t even get their promised pensions.

The picture’s political agenda is obvious from the start, which makes some of it seem over-earnest and repetitive. However, the leading soldiers are nicely differentiated and beautifully acted.

You will come to care what happens to them, and – however sceptical you may be in general of Muslim complaints about western oppression – it’s hard to resist the conclusion that here, at least, they have a genuine grievance.

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