The article in Annie’s post mentioned the 2006 film Indigènes (English title: Days of Glory) and I just wanted to post a little something about it because it is one of my favourite films and the main reason I enrolled in this class!
The film is listed as a French production but was a collaboration between France, Morocco, Belgium and Algeria. The director, Rachid Bouchareb is French-Algerian.
With rare eloquence, the film tells the story of four North African soldiers and their heroic fight against Germany’s fascism and France’s discrimination at the close of World War II. Recruited by France’s desperate military in 1943, the soldiers risk their lives for a motherland they have never seen. They are torn between their anger at the injustice they face from their own side and their loyalty to their comrades, as they push forwards in search of love, wealth and social justice.
One moment that really struck in my mind is right at the beginning of the film. The indigènes shout, “Long live France!” in Arabic. The irony can hardly escape the audience when the scene fades into an image of the Tricolour blowing over North African desert plains.
I think the DVD is available in Lilly–you should watch it if you haven’t seen it yet! It really isn’t your typical war film. Indigènes doesn’t depend on the usual formula of adrenaline-filled action scenes, heroism and romance; war is simply the backdrop to its bittersweet story. With understated elegance, Bouchareb sheds light on the often forgotten ironies of colonial France. Breathtaking cinematography and a sharp script makes Indigènes a must-see.