University of Hertfordshire

By the same authors

The Battle of Algiers and Terrorism on Film

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical Concepts: Terrorism
EditorsPeter Harman
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017


This essay critically examines The Battle of Algiers’ status as the go-to film about terrorism. Focusing less on the movie’s well-known political legacy, it instead investigates The Battle of Algiers’ impact on and place in the international cinema of terrorism. The essay pinpoints connections between The Battle of Algiers and other terrorist films made before and after the mid-1960s, and sets The Battle of Algiers’ treatment of political violence within the wider history of the relationship between cinema and terrorism. The essay explains what made The Battle of Algiers such a distinctive and important film in the 1960s, and how filmmakers have learned from and misused it in the decades since. The essay concludes with brief thoughts on what The Battle of Algiers’ classic status tells us about the nature and limitations of cinematic terrorism.


This material (original submitted manuscript version) has been accepted for publication in Peter Harman, ed. Critical Concepts: Terrorism, Cambridge University Press, forthcoming publication. This version is free to view and download for personal use only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works.

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