Avoir 20 Ans dans les Aurès depicts the Algerian war from a soldier’s moral perspective in a film that barely made it past the censors. René Vautier’s documentary-style drama is not only anti-war, but unequivocally critical of how the French government handled themselves during the conflict. The film unfolds in 1961 when a group of commandos are sent to Algeria to fight under Lieutenant Perrin. The four commandos are soon disciplined for not following orders and are assigned the dangerous mission of capturing enemy Algerian soldiers. The group becomes increasingly disillusioned about their allegedly patriotic mission by the relationships they form and the atrocities they witness on the ground. The film is one of the first explicit acknowledgements of one of France’s darkest moments in modern history. Vautier’s project was underway at a time when colonial wars were still sujets maudits. The French, and particularly the French government, were not ready to come to terms with their colonial past until around the 1970s. This film won International Critics Award at Cannes.
Cast & Crew
Director : René Vautier
Screenwriter : René Vautier
Starring : Alexandre Arcady, Philippe Léotard, Yves Branellec, Hamid Djelloli, Jean-Michel Ribes
Schedule & Presentation
Presentation by and discussion with director René Vautier
Thursday, March 29 – 6:00 p.m at the Byrd Theater ~ 1h40 ~ Parental Guidance Plus
Choose a picture to see the filmography (source : IMDB)
You are about to witness 7 days among Lieutenant Perrin’s commando aka “the Bretons’ Commando” or “Commando of the long-haired”.
This film chronicle sums up 800 hours of interviews with 600 draftees from the Algerian revolution. Now that the high-ranked are telling their side of the story, we also wanted to have the opinion of the draftees… General Bollardière mentioned them in an interview: “The draftees will need time to recover from this war. Every day, some of them tell me how deeply affected they are by what they were forced to do.”
At least 5 witnesses can testify that each scene reflects what happened.