The revolution in Algeria in the 1950s was characterized by political violence and terrorism. After witnessing the abuse of revolutionaries, the protagonist of the film, The Battle for Algiers, decides to become a rebel and seek justice. After ten years and many deaths, Algeria achieved complete independence from France. The actions of both parties of the conflict (revolutionaries and French police) are characterized by political violence such as torture, police brutality, murders, and terrorist attacks. As a result of that events, not only the participants of the conflict but also the civilians were affected.
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The actions taken by the Algerians (members of the FLN) seem to be explained by ideational motives. One may draw such a conclusion if one analyzes the general mood in the example of the protagonist of the film The Battle of Algiers. Thus, in one of the episodes, the protagonist, being in prison, witnesses the brutal execution of one of the fighters for independence (Pontecorvo). It became a turning point in the fate Ali, after which he firmly decided to join the FLN. Five months later, Ali passes the test of the movement leader and becomes a member of the resistance. Such actions show dedication to his ideals; thereby, his efforts were explained by ideational factors.
As one may notice in the movie, many types of political violence were present in the events of the 1950s and 1960s in Algeria. Political violence implies cruel actions aimed at achieving political goals (O’Neil et al. 127). Thus, from the side of the French police, torture, terrorism, and executions were involved, the purpose of which was not only active participants in the resistance but also civilians. These actions were justified by the unstable political situation and the threat of terrorism, and it was used to stifle the revolution. From the side of the resistance, terrorist attacks were also involved, and the murder of police officers. It was justified by nationwide liberation and independent existence from France. As one might note, the strategy of revolution and mass protests was successful, which led to the independence of Algeria when the military failed to stop the Algerians.
O’Neil, Patrick, et al. Cases and Concepts in Comparative Politics. W.W. Norton & Company, 2017.
The Battle of Algiers. Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo, performance by Jean Martin, Rialto Pictures, 1966.