The Battle of Algiers script
Synopsis: Paratrooper commander Colonel Mathieu (Jean Martin), a former French Resistance fighter during World War II, is sent to 1950s Algeria to reinforce efforts to squelch the uprisings of the Algerian War. There he faces Ali la Pointe (Brahim Haggiag), a former petty criminal who, as the leader of the Algerian Front de Liberation Nationale, directs terror strategies against the colonial French government occupation. As each side resorts to ever-increasing brutality, no violent act is too unthinkable.

VILLA HEADQUARTERS. INSIDE. NIGHT.

Inside a three-story villa, just built, with whitewashed walls.

An elevator shaft is empty, the large cables dangle.

On every landing two apartments. The front doors are wide open.

Whitewash on the floor of the halls, swirls of whitewash on the

windowpanes, naked light bulbs hung from electric wires. The rooms

contain hardly any furnishings.

The kitchens are still without sinks and stoves.

An agitated bustle, a rhythm of efficiency. Paratroopers go up and

down the stairs, pass along the halls, enter and leave the rooms.

The sounds in the background are indecipherable.

SHOUTED ORDERS, CRIES, HOWLS.

SHOUTS, HALF-SPOKEN REMARKS, LAUGHS.

SOMEWHERE A GRAMOPHONE IS PLAYING AT FULL BLAST.

The scene is tense. No pauses.

When the paras are tired, they move to another room.

They sit down, stretch out on the floor, drink coffee or beer, and

smoke cigarettes while awaiting the next shift. Suddenly, the rhythm

of this routine, the timing of these images is upset. A para rushes

down the stairs, and asks cheerfully while running:

MARC:

The colonel. Where's the colonel?

PARAS:

Why? What's happening?

MARC:

We know where Ali la Pointe is. One of

them "spoke" ...

His voice echoes through the corridors, on the landings, from one

floor to another. The excitement is contagious. Many crowd around

the door of the kitchen.

The Algerian who has "spoken" is there. He is young with a thin face

and feverish eyes. The paras are all around him: they help him stand

up, dry him, clean his face with a rag, give him some coffee in a

thermos cover. They are full of attention, sincerely concerned. One

of them tries to push away the others.

PARA:

C'mon, let him breathe!

Meanwhile others who are arriving ask if it is true.

OTHER PARAS:

So he spoke? Does he really know where

Ali is?

MARC:

It seems so. We'll go see. Give him a

little coffee.

Marc is tall and husky, his eyes young and cheerful. One of the others

asks him with a shade of admiration:

PARA:

Hey Marc, you made him talk?

MARC:

(smiling)

Sure.

He then begins to smoke again, and moves aside to rest a bit. The

Algerian is trying to drink, but his hands are trembling. Someone

helps him and holds still the cover of the thermos, drawing it to his

mouth:

LAGLOY:

C'mon Sadek ... Drink, you'll feel better.

The Algerian drinks, but his stomach can't take it, causing him to

double over and vomit again.

Colonel Mathieu enters, elegant and graceful.

MATHIEU:

(smiling)

At ease. Is it true?

MARC:

I think so. Rue des Abderames three ...

The colonel turns to the para, who had gone to call him, and who is

holding a pair of camouflage fatigues in his hands.

MATHIEU:

Dress him.

Then he goes near the Algerian, lifts his chin, inspects him for a

moment with curiosity.

MATHIEU:

Chin up, it's all over. Nothing can happen

to you now, you'll see. Can you stand up?

The Algerian nods yes. The colonel turns to the paras who are holding

him up.

MATHIEU:

Let him go.

He takes the camouflage fatigues and hands them to the Algerian.

MATHIEU:

Here, put them on.

The Algerian mechanically takes the fatigues, but he doesn't

understand. The colonel explains to him:

MATHIEU:

We're trying to help you. We're going to

the Casbah. Dressed like this, they won't

be able to recognize you. Understand?

We're going to see the place, then you'll

be free ... and under our protection ...

The Algerian shivers from the cold. He is completely naked. He

laboriously puts on the fatigues which are too big for him.

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Gillo Pontecorvo

Gillo Pontecorvo (Italian: [ˈdʒillo ponteˈkɔrvo]; 19 November 1919 – 12 October 2006) was an Italian filmmaker. He worked as a film director for more than a decade before his best known film La battaglia di Algeri (The Battle of Algiers, 1966) was released. It won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1966. more…

All Gillo Pontecorvo scripts | Gillo Pontecorvo Books

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"The Battle of Algiers" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 13 Dec. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/the_battle_of_algiers_694>.

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