Political and Social Impact During the Battle of Algiers
Political and Social Impact During The Battle of Algiers        The Battle of Algiers, directed by Gillo Pontecorvo, is a recollection of events that happened between November of 1954 and December of 1960, which eventually led to the independence of the nation-state of Algeria. The movie is focused on the struggle between the National Liberation Front, also known as the FLN, and the French paratroopers amid innocent civilians on both sides. Throughout the movie, one can draw deep insight on the political as well as social mindset of both the colonizers and indigenous people during a time of decolonization.         Essentially, The Battle of Algiers was a conflict based upon differences in political opinion between two parties, the FLN and French colonizers. For one, the French, after winning their revolutionary war, were very proud of their beliefs—that of “liberty, equality, and fraternity.” However, as the movie suggests and proves, this belief was only relevant to people from France. Many times in the movie, we see Algerians’ liberties stripped for the sole purpose of protecting French security in a nation-state in which they were the minority. From a strictly French point of view, all their actions could be seen as a “civilizing mission” or duty to the world to civilize a group of barbarous people such as the Algerians. With this mindset, however, comes the dangerous belief that they—the French—are ultimately more superior in every aspect than their colonized people. As the movie progresses, we can see the political mindset of the French authority change from confidence to paranoia amidst the increasing resistance from the FLN as well as the common Algerian citizen. This takes shape in the form of setting up checkpoints, roadblocks, closing off the Muslim quarter, in addition to the more extremes of raiding homes and covert bombings. In a sense, all of these actions by the French could have been seen as reasonable at the time; in retrospect, these actions did nothing but provoke violence and start a vicious cycle of retaliation between the two groups of people. During this time of resistance by the Algerians, the French political mindset can be categorized as one of fear—not only for themselves but for their ideals as well as their image as a colonial country towards the world.         On the other hand, the FLN prided themselves in the belief that they felt a responsibility for the well-being of the Algerian people. In a way, it could be argued that the same French revolutionary beliefs apply to the Algerians similarly to how the French beliefs applied to the French during the time of their revolutionary war. The FLN took this responsibility very seriously and was set on the principle that if an Algerian did not support or follow the ideals of the FLN—that of an abstinence of drugs, alcohol and prostitution—they were to be warned and executed on a second offense. Though this seems harsh, it does have a equitable reason behind it as unity amongst the Algerian people was of utmost importance in the political philosophy at the time. This unity, which is manifested in the form of a strike in The Battle of Algiers, was not only a call for togetherness of the Algerians, but also for recognition from the United Nations and the world that the country of Algeria deserved its’ independence from France. However, as the movie proves, this was not enough and the FLN had to resort to more violent, rather than passive, means in order to accomplish their goal of political freedom. Contrary to the political mindset of the French colonizers, the FLN did not fear the French the same way that the colonizers feared the rebels. This is due to the fact that effectively, the FLN are the aggressors in instilling fear into the common French person by terrorism in the form of planted bombs and drive-by shootings. This is due to the belief that although violence alone cannot win wars, terrorism is a good first step in inciting change. Consequently, the FLN based much of its political philosophy on a means for stimulating change of the status quo at the time by rallying for unity in addition to acts of violence.

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French Paratroopers And Political Opinion. (April 2, 2021). Retrieved from https://www.freeessays.education/french-paratroopers-and-political-opinion-essay/