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Movie Review: Days of Glory (Indigènes)

Alternate Title: War is Ugly

Story: Algeria's entry as Oscar's Best Foreign Film is beautifully shot, has a gut wrenching story and an amazing cast directed by Rachid Bouchareb.

The story revolves around the French Command's use of it's troops from Algeria, Morocco and Senegal during WW11. The obvious racial bias, harsh duty and social injustice permeates this piece of history that is little known to us.

Bouchareb follows a small group of these infantryman from Northern Africa as they fight for France through Italy and ultimately into Alsace.

It is a touching film about heroism, futility, grace and outrage. I was moved by the incredible cast, good storytelling and was pleased to learn that President Jacques Chirac, after seeing this film, finally changed the laws that raised the pensions of the surviving 80,000 veterans.

Ah, the power of art!

Acting: Last year's Cannes Film Festival deservedly awarded the ensemble cast an award rather than single out one performance. They include, Jamel Debbouze (Saïd), Samy Nacéri (Yassir), Roschdy Zem (Messaoud), Sami Bouajila (Abdelkader), Bernard Blancan (Sergeant Martinez), Mathieu Simonet (Leroux), Benoît Giros (Captain Durieux), Mélanie Laurent (Marguerite), Antoine Chappey (the Colonel) and Aurélie Eltvedt (Irène).

Predilection: I like to see all of the nominated films if possible.

Critters: Lots and lots of dead animals (you do not see them killed but they lay as casualties of war on the fields) and a live dairy cow.

Food: There is a big to do over tomatoes.

Soundtrack: Beautiful

Theater Audience: A small group of riveted movie goers.

Weather: France's winter of 1944 was tough for these soldiers from Northern Africa.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: War is always hard to watch.

Drift Factor: I did not drift at all.

Predictability Level: Moderate.

Tissue Usage: I cried at the end.

Oscar Worthy: Yes

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine.

Length: Two hours