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:
The colonel. Where's the colonel?
Why? What's happening?
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.
C'mon, let him breathe!
Meanwhile others who are arriving ask if it is true.
So he spoke? Does he really know where
It seems so. We'll go see. Give him a
Marc is tall and husky, his eyes young and cheerful. One of the others
asks him with a shade of admiration:
Hey Marc, you made him talk?
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
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.
At ease. Is it true?
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.
Then he goes near the Algerian, lifts his chin, inspects him for a
moment with curiosity.
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
Let him go.
He takes the camouflage fatigues and hands them to the Algerian.
Here, put them on.
The Algerian mechanically takes the fatigues, but he doesn't
understand. The colonel explains to him:
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.
Go on, give him the cap.