Despite winning the Golden Lion at Venice and being nominated for three Academy Awards, 'The Battle of Algiers' directed by Gillo Pontecorvo, was banned in France for five years. It's this contentiousness on which its reputation still rests. But it also has a vigour, a commitment and an intelligence that is absent from much of modern cinema.
In 1954, the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) launched its bid to end 120 years of French colonial occupation in Algeria. Based on actual events - although not without its moments of dramatic licence - 'The Battle of Algiers' chronicles three years of insurrection and repression with such cine-veracity that the producers felt the need to append a caption at the end of the opening titles assuring viewers that 'not one foot' of documentary material had been included.
★★★★★ - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian