Cinema Interviews

Interview: Saadi Yacef on The Battle of Algiers

The classic 1966 war film The Battle of Algiers gets a welcome re-release in UK cinemas this week and I recently spoke to Saadi Yacef who produced and starred in the film.

He was one of the leaders of Algeria’s National Liberation Front during his country’s war of independence and, whillst imprisoned by the French, wrote his memoir of the actual Battle of Algiers, which was published in 1962.

After the war Saadi helped produce Gillo Pontecorvo‘s film and he even stars in it as a character based on his own experiences.

With its strikingly realistic depiction of modern warfare and terrorism the film has gone on to become highly influential. So much so that the The Pentagon screened it in 2003 as a useful illustration of the problems faced in Iraq.

Saadi is currently a Senator in Algeria’s People’s National Assembly.

Listen to the interview here:

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