This article explores the gendered subtext of film criticism that both praises and vilifies Gillo Pontecorvo’s Bataille d’Alger. The female characters play a prominent role in the film’s action, and, in particular, the women’s roles underscore the film’s ideological emphasis on anti-colonialism, as well as the need for personal and political independence. In analyzing film critique from the last forty-five years, from the original release in France to contemporary screenings, this article demonstrates how the critics’ views of female characters as participants in irregular war are central to their overall reactions to the film. Whether they love or hate the film, it is the critics’ views of the female characters that judge the film as a complete artistic piece.

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