The film also includes a scene in which French perspective in justifying torture is explained, under the line of Colonel Mathieu: “Should France stay in Algeria? If your answer is still yes, then you must accept all consequences”. It was a matter of end justifies means. In the interview, Aussaresses explains that France’s usage of torture was counter-terrorism. Due to the increasing threats of bomb attacks on all sides, information was needed, and to gain time torture was very effective1. “Most people break and talk.” In the film too, an Algerian civilian is tortured through water boarding in order to reveal the place of the FLN bomb which exploded nearing the end of the film.
Inarguably, the film Battle of Algiers was accurate in depicting the events Pontercorvo chose to include, but the selectivity of the director is also quite evident as the investigation shows. Where Source 1, Frantz Fanon’s account reveals the film’s credibility in displaying the role of women in counterinsurgency, it also reveals the film’s omission of the portrayal of French violence against Algerian women. The fact both sides were equally as violent will never attain consensus, the revolution has not gone to lengths colonialism has.2 As can be concluded, the FLN did adapt a relatively savage sort of resistance and counterinsurgency techniques, but it was in response to the colonist. The film does succeed in implicitly showing that the Algerian counter-insurgency terrorism was for the sake of the terrorized Algerians, but fails to fairly depict how violence developed and increased in both sides as the Battle progresses.
1 Aussaresses, Paul, Le Monde Afrique Interview, 2000.
2 Fanon, F. (1958) p. 25