Among the first and finest docudramas, Gillo Pontecorvo’s Algerian War of Independence reconstruction is a masterclass in tone and technique.
Shot like newsreel, structured as thriller, it balances relentless urgency with political savvy. The result is an even-handed primer in revolution and counterinsurgency, whose insights remain powerfully pertinent in the Arab Spring era.
As a piece of filmmaking, too, it casts a long shadow. Without it, Ken Loach and Paul Greengrass’ careers would be very different; aptly, both pay tribute in the informative extras.